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—Crafton gave her a new outlook on life!

Working three jobs while barely making ends meet, Lauren (Ochs) Petta knew this was not the life she wanted to live. “I realized I wanted to pursue a degree in nursing to help those who need it and to be a patient advocate to always stand up for what was right,” says Petta.


Petta works as a Magnet Program Specialist for Loma Linda University Medical Center collaborating with the LLU Hospital and LLU Children’s Hospital to help achieve and sustain Magnet Designation. This prestigious recognition program developed by the American Nurses Credentialing Center recognizes healthcare organizations that provide quality patient care, nursing excellence and innovations in professional nursing practice. She also works as a NICU clinical nurse for Kaiser Permanente.


Appreciating the convenience of attending a community college Petta chose to attend CHC to complete the prerequisites for nursing school. She is grateful to have been a recipient of a CHC Foundation scholarship as well as financial aid allowing her to attend classes, be successful, and ultimately become a quality nurse who gives back to those in need. “Without the help and support of scholarships and financial aid, I would not have been able to attend college,” Petta admits.


After graduating in 2015 with multiple associate degrees, Petta shares that she left with more than a diploma, “The friendships I gained during my experiences at Crafton Hills College allowed me to learn and be successful as a clinical nurse and have given me the skills to help me advance into a leadership role in healthcare.”


During her time at CHC Petta says that she appreciated the availability of her professors to interact and discuss course content. “All professors I worked with at CHC had my best interests at heart and truly helped me to grow and develop professionally, and also helped me to learn key content and components that would help me be successful through nursing school,” says Petta.


Petta believes that CHC can have a meaningful and lasting impact on the community. “I know that my husband and I have been successful in our respective fields due to the CHC instructors who pour their hearts into their students and have their best interests at heart.” Petta adds, “I think the community of Yucaipa is fortunate to have such a lovely campus where students can grow and learn how to develop their professional careers.”


Her advice to students trying to choose a college is to find one that makes them feel at home. She suggests asking lots of questions, visiting the college, talking with other students, and to imagine studying in that environment. In addition, Petta recommends asking yourself if this a place that will help you grow as an individual and will help you pursue a career. “I knew that Crafton Hills College was the place for me, and I enjoyed every moment of growth while on campus,” says Petta.


In addition to receiving a degree from CHC, Petta holds a B.S. in Nursing from Loma Linda University, and is currently completing a master’s in nursing education from Grand Canyon University. In 2018 she received the President’s Award, the highest award a nursing student at LLUSN can achieve as a student nurse. She also received her Public Health Nurse Certificate and is pursuing an RNC-NICU (Advanced Certificate for a NICU Nurse).