WIOA Adult Program – Felicia
Felicia Krejci discovered that the first career path she chose was not a good fit. She re-evaluated what she wanted out of a career and decided her passion was taking care of critically ill people. She sprang into action and enrolled in the nursing program at Northcentral Technical College. Felicia started a part-time position as a CNA at St. Clare’s Hospital. Her plan was to obtain a bachelor’s degree in nursing, and then to work toward the goal of becoming a nurse practitioner or anesthetist. To reach this goal, she also started classes at Upper Iowa University. Felicia was only eligible for student loans, so her brother referred her to the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act program.
In December 2017, she met with Career Planner Amy Hoppa to complete eligibility and assessments for WIOA. Felicia was able to receive training assistance for her Associate Degree in Nursing, and then used her student loans to cover her classes at Upper Iowa University. Throughout the next year, she excelled at time management and organization. Felicia earned all A’s in her classes, worked part-time, and completed clinicals 40 minutes away in Antigo. She sacrificed social time with friends and family, cut her expenses to a minimum and even juggled unexpected costs after a collision with a deer on her way to clinicals.
Felicia received WIOA supportive services to help pay for the Licensed Practical Nurse exam, which she passed on her first attempt. She quickly advanced to an LPN position making an additional $3 an hour. Being the go getter, Felicia applied for a six-month nursing internship at St. Clare’s Hospital Intensive Care Unit last summer. Felicia gained valuable experience at her internship and her school preceptorship in the Emergency Department of St Clare’s Hospital.
As school was winding down, Felicia started applying for positions using references she had met through her internship and clinical experiences. She received an offer from a hospital in Eau Claire as well as St. Clare’s. She met with Amy to discuss the pros and cons of each offer. Felicia informed Amy a week later that she decided to continue her journey with St. Clare’s. Felicia successfully finished her associate degree, obtained her Registered Nurse license, and started earning double the wage from when she first enrolled with WIOA. She will also have her Bachelor of Science in Nursing by March 2021.
Felicia reported that instructors from both colleges have asked her to mentor other nursing students which is unusual for new nurses. Felicia reported, “They mentioned that I am not a “normal” new grad and am doing really well!”
Amy Hoppa, WIOA Career Planner, adds, “If I had to pick two words to describe Felicia, it would be focused and competent. We are lucky to have her working in our community. I am confident she will achieve any goal she sets her mind to and I am happy we could help her along her journey.”
Congratulations Felicia Krejci!