(Town Crier photo/Revis Blaylock)
Meghan, 17, will graduate from Arkansas Northeast College Licensed Practical Nursing Program on June 24. She has completed the first phase of her career plans.
Meghan is not the only member of her family that will be graduating from nursing school as her mother will also receive her nursing degree.
"We did not study together because as mom she was always right," Meghan said. "We did give each other a lot of support over the last years."
Meghan knew at an early age that she wanted to go into the medical field. Several members of her family are nurses including her grandmother. Her ultimate goal is to be a Nurse Practitioner. She would have graduation from high school in 2006. She decided to jump ahead and received her Arkansas High school Diploma in 2003. She started taking college courses at 15 and was accepted into the nursing program at 16.
She was the youngest student accepted into the nursing program.
She will graduate and take her State Board before she is old enough to work as a nurse. A nurse has to be 18 years old. She took a predictor test for the state board and made a 90 percent pass rate. She will take the official test after graduation.
Meghan and her mother plan to start to Arkansas State University this fall. Meghan plans to work toward a Master's degree in nursing and hopefully go on to Fayetteville to pursue her career as a Nurse Practitioner.
Mrs. Johnson said she plans to work toward a Bachelor's degree in nursing.
Meghan said it has not been easy, but it has been worth it.
"Really, I had to give up at least a year of my teenage life," Meghan said. "I did not have time to go to a ball game or spend time with my friends. The nursing field has endless opportunities."
Meghan's interest at the present time is helping trauma patients or mentally ill. She agrees as she gets more experience and more clinicals it could change. She said she also has a desire to be on a MediVac team.
"That takes a lot of training and experience but I have plenty of time to work toward it," Meghan said.
Meghan said the nursing program at ANC is tough.
"They expect a lot out of their students," both Meghan and Ronda said.
They said the last year is a lot of clinicals and they work in many different aspects of nursing.
"We got up every morning at 3:30 or 4 a.m. to be at work at 6 a.m. until 3 p.m.," Meghan said. "We also spent a lot of all night study sessions preparing."
"I have had a lot of support from my parents," Meghan said. "I also got a lot of moral support from my instructors and classmates. I guess because I was young they took me under their wings."
The Johnson's have a younger daughter, Chelsea, who is 12 years old and will be going into the seventh grade. Mrs. Johnson and Meghan bought her a set of scrubs that said "future doctor" on the back.