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As far back as Laura can remember she always dreamed of becoming a nurse; but, because money was tight her dream seemed unattainable. Her only job to this point was working part-time in a college bookstore. In September 2005, Laura entered into Georgia College & State University's nursing program with assistance from the Middle Georgia Consortium and graduated in December 2006 with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing. Although Laura has realized her dream, she states most empathetically that the financial and emotional support provided by the Middle Georgia Consortium played a very instrumental role in her successfully graduating with a 3.88 GPA. According to Laura, "without the Consortium's counseling and financial assistance, it would have been impossible for me to maintain my focus on my studies. You see, I was eligible and received financial assistance through the Hope scholarship and the Pell grant, but the incidentals of the nursing program -- such costs as nursing uniforms, nursing shoes, books, transportation to and from clinicals, the monthly Health and Environment Science Institute (HESI) exams, the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX), and the hepatitis shots were covered by the Consortium. The Consortium even provided me the opportunity to attend the Georgia Association of Nursing Students Conference." As a service to other students and especially nursing students, Laura tells them all about the Consortium and what services the Consortium provided for her. On January 2, 2007, Laura began her career as a nurse at the Medical Center of Central Georgia making $20.00 per hour. She is presently working in the nurse residency program on 4-West, which provides her the opportunity to work in several different specialty areas to help her decide on which one she will choose as her career.
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