A Look at the Path to Nursing at LSU

Victoria Monzon

Metairie native Victoria Monzon began nursing school at LSU Health New Orleans in January 2017. Photo: LSU University College

BATON ROUGE – A mover, constantly on her feet; a connector, eager to meet new faces; and a little bit clumsy – all the attributes that sparked LSU Nursing Student Victoria Monzon’s nursing career choice.

Monzon’s clumsiness left her in the hands of nurses but is how her love for the nursing field began. With every doctor’s visit, she saw a future career.

“I am the type of person who likes to be on my feet a lot, moving around and connecting with people,” said Monzon, a Metairie, La., native who attended high school at Mt. Carmel Academy in New Orleans, La.

As she examined her own personality against those of nurses, she realized those active, people-person characteristics shaped her into a natural helper. Interacting with kids, adults or any age while improving their health is the right fit for her.

So, when making the decision of which school would launch her nursing career, Monzon chose LSU.

“I heard LSU had a great nursing program,” she said. “I figured I would go to LSU to get familiar with LSU’s morals, while also getting a good education, then transfer to LSU’s nursing school.”

In this way, Monzon experienced life at LSU in Baton Rouge before leaving for nursing school in New Orleans. She prepared for her transfer to nursing school by joining the Pre-Nursing Organization, or PNO, and utilizing the on-campus nursing counselor.

Monzon said University College Counselor Jennifer Ramezan always kept the nursing students in the know of important information, while also checking up on their personal and school lives.  

Ramezan and the Pre-Nursing Organization gear their efforts to promoting nursing and advancing pre-nursing students. Monzon said each PNO meeting was different. Students learned about the nursing school application process and listened to guest speakers. The club also volunteered at service projects like the Alzheimer’s walk, which Monzon was particularly excited about.

Service has always drawn Monzon in, another one of her built-in nursing attributes. In high school, she was in Christian Life Community, a service-based club that visited homeless shelters across New Orleans. CLC made sandwiches and packed care bags for the men, women and children in the shelters.

Victoria Monzon

Victoria Monzon said that time management was her biggest challenge when she entered nursing school, so she committed herself to a routine to stay ahead of school work.Photo: LSU University College

“We are so privileged in our lives, so I like giving back to the community,” Monzon said.

Monzon’s goal is to create blessings for others. Her attitude drives the nursing field and gives her a focus to move forward in her schooling.

All while participating in PNO activities, diving into LSU life and completing service work, Monzon kept up her grades, one of her biggest motivators. Her high grades put her in the running and ultimately the recipient of the Ryan Paul Shannon Memorial Scholarship in spring 2016.

The scholarship is donated by the Shannon family to a pre-nursing student at LSU. The Shannon’s lost their son Ryan Shannon to cancer but in that time of tragedy saw the compassion of his nurses.

“I felt honored for them to give me the scholarship,” Monzon said. “It taught me that if a little kid can fight, then I can more than push through a difficult test or task.”

Monzon imagines that Ryan continued to live a happy life during his illness because his nurses gave him the best treatment. From a nursing perspective, she thinks seeing the innocence in kids makes nurses strive to keep a bright smile on their faces no matter what.

Monzon believes compassion, confidence and a good work ethic are key for the nursing field when caring for patients and balancing tasks. These traits of a nurse strengthen in nursing school.

“Nursing will be hard but the ultimate goal is to help people,” Monzon said. “If that is your ultimate goal then you can strive to do anything.”

Looking toward the end of her days on campus in Baton Rouge, Monzon was ready to accomplish the next step in her life at the School of Nursing at LSU Health New Orleans.

Her LSU nursing school journey began on Jan. 11, 2017. Immediately, she knew nursing school would be different from undergrad in Baton Rouge. She walked into a workload on her first day.

“The professors expect a lot more from you with learning the material and practicing the knowledge,” she said.

Time management was her biggest challenge, so she committed herself to a routine to stay ahead of school work. Monzon gets home from class, takes a small break, then starts on material by looking over PowerPoint presentations and notes and practicing with quizzes or activities.

Victoria Monzon

Victoria Monzon, with LSU Univeristy College Advisory Board member Sarah Clayton after receiving the Ryan Paul Shannon Memorial Scholarship at the 2016 “Celebration of Excellence” spring awards reception. Photo: LSU University College

While she stresses the importance of never letting herself get behind, Monzon also realizes that breaks from studying are a must. She works for an hour then breaks for 10 minutes, so that she doesn’t wear herself out.

An interest in the material with positivity and dedication pays off in the end because differences will be made in patients’ lives. Monzon knows what it takes to succeed.

“Nursing school isn’t a cakewalk,” she said. “But I knew I would love every moment and that has come true.” 

LSU’s Allied Health & Pre-Professional Programs are Part of University’ College’s Center for Advising and Counseling. For more information, visit http://www.lsu.edu/universitycollege/alliedhealth/index.php.

Since 1933, LSU University College has served as the portal of entry for students enrolled at LSU. Academic and personal success is the hallmark of a well-rounded student, and University College provides a foundation of support services for students beginning their academic careers at LSU. University College has two enrollment divisions: The Center for Freshman Year and The Center for Advising and Counseling. Additionally, University College offers retention-specific programs: Student Support Services, Ronald E. McNair Research Scholars and Summer Scholars. These academic support programs focus on particular student populations and are a significant part of the role and mission of University College.




Contact Caroline Welker
LSU University College


Ernie Ballard
LSU Media Relations