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Nursing, Berkeley College,

Nursing Student Finds Success through LPN to BSN Program



While raising a family of five, working full time, and completing her undergraduate studies at Berkeley College, Latoya Spears is also considering earning her Master’s degree after she graduates in December 2017. Ms. Spears, a Nursing major, refuses to let anything get in the way of her dreams.

“It is so encouraging to see that female professors with doctorates who look like me are also teaching me,” said Ms. Spears. “Many are married and have a family to support just like me. They are great examples of perseverance and determination.”

While her journey has taken some time, Ms. Spears has kept her eye on the road to career success. For six years, she worked full time as a Pharmacy Technician at Walgreen’s while she and her husband raised a family. Inspired by them and her colleagues, she was honored to accept an invitation to join an inaugural class at Berkeley College—one that would open new doors.

In the fall of 2016, a special program for licensed practical nurses (LPNs) seeking a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree began at Berkeley College in Woodland Park, NJ. The program was the result of a collaboration with Union County College that was supported through the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s New Jersey Health Initiatives Program.

“The LPN to BSN program affords Licensed Practical Nurses the opportunity to seamlessly transition and advance their education,” said Josiane Hickson, EdD, RN-BC , NE-BC, Chair, Nursing and Patient Care Technician programs, Berkeley College School of Health Studies. “Due to the fact that industry demand for baccalaureate-prepared registered nurses is growing, this program gives nurses a variety of choices for professional experience and growth.”

Despite her busy schedule, Ms. Spears finds ways to make it work. While she is enrolled in the demanding LPN to BSN program, she works for two home healthcare agencies. “Working in home care rather than in a job with fixed hours makes it easier for me to accommodate my schedule,” she said.

In addition, Ms. Spears manages to find time to give back to the community by serving in two ministries at her church--something she truly enjoys.

When asked about the benefits of pursuing an education with Berkeley College, she said, “The benefits of being at Berkeley are the amazing staff. The Campus Operating Officers, my professors, the financial aid team, the student accounts group, the librarians—all have created an environment for students that is welcoming and encourages us to flourish.”

To learn more about the LPN to BSN program at Berkeley College, click here.

The views and/or opinions in this article are those of the individuals interviewed. The academic achievements and/or employment outcomes described in this article are specific to each individual, and are not a guarantee of similar results for past or current students. For up-to-date and detailed information, please visit, and view our catalogs at