Student Spotlight: Joyce Koenig
When she was a child, Joyce Koenig wanted to be a nurse or a paramedic.
“As I got older, I didn’t think I would be good at dealing with blood and guts,” she said. “However, I was always reading medical articles or watching programs about the medical field. Family members started calling me for advice when they got sick.”
While pregnant with her daughter, Koenig developed HELLP Syndrome, a life-threatening complication of pregnancy and is believed to be a severe type of preeclampsia.
“I had to deliver my daughter at 25 weeks because of this,” she said. “I was in critical condition and my daughter, Chloe, only lived two days. That’s when I knew I wanted to become a nurse so I could care for mothers and babies during high-risk pregnancies. I want to help them have better outcomes.”
After starting to pursue a Nursing degree at College of DuPage in 2005, Koenig put her education on hold due to a variety of factors. First, she and her family moved out of district. Then the recession hit, and she began working full-time while caring for her children and her mother, who had dementia.
When her family moved back to DuPage County, Koenig returned to COD but had reservations about restarting her college education.
“I was worried I was now too old to pursue a degree but quickly changed my mind,” she said. “I’m receiving a great education and have been taught by many wonderful professors, especially those in the Nursing program. For instance, Dr. Janice Miller and Professor Maureen Waller have not only taught me what I need to know for my degree, but they also have shared their real-life experiences with me in the area of nursing that I want to pursue. They are both very caring and I appreciate their advice and encouragement.
“However, the best encouragement comes from my husband, children and the patients I now meet at my clinical sites.”
While at College of DuPage, Koenig has received several scholarships through the College’s Foundation: The Foundation Supplies Scholarship, the Foundation Returning Adult Scholarship and the Health Initiative Scholarship. She is also a member of the international honor society Phi Theta Kappa and volunteers for the Illinois Perinatal Quality Collaborative, where she is involved in its Maternal Hypertension Initiative as a family advisor.
After earning her Associate Degree in Nursing, Koenig would like to pursue her Bachelor of Science in Nursing and then work as a nurse in high-risk obstetrics. Eventually she would like to earn a master’s and possibly teach nursing.
Koenig is glad to pursue a nursing career at College of DuPage.
“I have met so many supportive counselors, librarians, tutors, professors and fellow students at COD, and I have made many life-long friendships,” she said. “There are so many supportive teachers at this College who are willing to spend the time helping you reach your goals for your education and beyond. So, believe in yourself and pursue your dreams. You won’t regret it!”
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