Allison Chappo is now working in her dream job, thanks to her education at Lorain County Community College.

The Elyria woman is a Registered Nurse (RN) in the Surgical Intensive Care Unit (SICU) at The Cleveland Clinic – Main Campus in downtown Cleveland. Chappo, 33, earned an Associate Degree Nursing (ADN) degree from LCCC in December 2011. She passed her RN board examination soon after.

“I got a job with the Cleveland Clinic two weeks after I passed my state board test, and I am now working on a critical care unit, my top job choice,” Chappo said. “This is all possible because of my education at LCCC.”

In 2008, when Chappo decided to pursue her dream of becoming a nurse, she knew LCCC had a great reputation for its ADN program.

However, at the time she was living in Wakeman and wasn’t sure about the commute to LCCC’s main campus in Elyria. When she found out about courses offered at the Wellington Center – a short 15 minutes from her home – she decided to give it a try.

“I enjoyed going to the Wellington Campus not only for the short drive but the class sizes were smaller which I find to be less intimidating,” she said. “The staff is very friendly and I was able to save on fuel while completing my prerequisite classes.”

Chappo got along so well with the staff at Wellington that she soon joined their ranks through the work study program.

When the time came for Chappo to sign up for nursing courses that are only available at LCCC’s main campus, it coincided with her move to her parents’ house in Elyria. It was during her first semester in nursing school at the Elyria campus that Chappo discovered her love for the ICU.

“I had the opportunity to shadow a friend who is a Cardiac ICU nurse at the Cleveland Clinic. I worked a 12-hour night shift with her,” Chappo recalled. “It was my first experience in an ICU setting and I got to see some amazing things. From that moment, I knew that I wanted to be an ICU nurse.”

In her final semester at LCCC, Chappo was selected for a one-on-one clinical experience with a nurse in EMH’s SICU. The experience sealed her desire to work on the SICU, a unit which treats critically ill patients with surgical complications.

Chappo credits the Allied Health and Nursing instructors at LCCC for helping her reach her goals, especially Associate Professor Kathy Durham who “helped me believe in myself.”

The nursing credential is Chappo’s second degree from LCCC. In 2007, she earned an associate’s degree in business administration and operated her own horse training business from 2006 to 2008. When the economy took a downturn, she returned to LCCC to pursue her dream of nursing.

“If it weren’t for LCCC, I don’t think I would be a nurse. I had the opportunity to go to a four-year school, but I felt comfortable with LCCC and it fit my budget,” Chappo said.

Chappo will continue her nursing education through an online Bachelor of Science in Nursing program through Ohio University.