February 25, 2021

In her younger years, Maya Bernier had an appendectomy and three knee surgeries. Watching the care and dedication of the professionals who took care of her inspired her interest for working in healthcare, which eventually led her down the path to discovering her passion for maternity care.

“Because of those surgeries and the ongoing physical therapy that goes along with them, I had first-hand experience to the strength, devotion and kindhearted nature of nurses.”

Maya started college at a university while still unclear what exactly she wanted to do for a career.

“Since I had always done well in science classes, I started off by majoring in biochemistry. But I quickly realized it wasn’t the right path for me, and I switched my major to nutrition.”

It was there that Maya took a required course that made all the difference and re-invigorated that early interest, bringing back the memories of the nurses who took care of her years ago.  

“One of the major courses for the nutrition program was a nursing course called ‘Making Babies.’ It was all about pregnancy, fetal development and maternity. I fell in love with it. I decided to take the following semester off to research different nursing programs in New Hampshire.”

Having grown up in Conway, White Mountains Community College (WMCC) was very close to home for Maya. She had friends who had already taken courses at the college and could testify to quality and the benefits of the smaller class sizes.

“I loved the idea of being in an intimate class where I didn’t feel like I was lost, but what really made me choose the two-year nursing program at WMCC was its success rate with graduates passing the NCLEX-RN exam. It just further attested to the program’s rigor and teaching methods.” WMCC’s pass rate for the exam averaged 98% between 2017-19 as compared to the national average of 88%.

From professors in the nursing program going the extra mile for each of their students or simply offering an encouraging welcome Maya found a community dedicated to her success.

“Transitioning from in-person classes to online classes because of the COVID-19 pandemic was a struggle. Luckily, I’ve been encouraged by every encounter at WMCC. For example, one day my computer abruptly stopped working. I was able to reach out WMCC’s IT department and they lent me a computer for the remainder of the semester.”

After graduation in May 2022, Maya’s goal is to start working at a local hospital and work her way into maternity care, where she first discovered her passion for nursing.

“I’m grateful that I’ve been able to pursue my passion through my education. If I could offer any words of wisdom to those looking to start their college career, I would suggest taking a variety of classes to really discover what you’re truly passionate about.”

The two-year Registered Nurse program at WMCC is approved by the New Hampshire Board of Nursing (NHBON) and accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN). Learn more about nursing and other programs on the WMCC website.