Student Stories: Erin Stafford

Erin Stafford


Major: Nursing

While Erin Stafford was encouraged to pursue communications at Missouri State University, life took her in different directions that were related to the medical field.

“I was a bodily injury claims adjuster for many years and loved reviewing medical records. I was also a caretaker for my grandfather for four years and was blessed to be able to spend that time with him,” she said. “It wasn’t until I attended an informational session with my daughter at the Nursing department at Mizzou that I realized my passion for nursing had just grown stronger as I got older. I told my husband I had a super-crazy idea of going back to school to become a nurse and he said go for it! With my family’s blessings and support, my dream to become a nurse finally became a reality at age 40.” 

Having lived in Glen Ellyn for many years, Stafford had heard great things about College of DuPage and its Nursing program. She was impressed by the rigorous selection process for nursing students and knew she needed to do well in her prerequisites in order to be accepted.

Once in the program, she discovered a strong support system.

“The Guided Study Group tutoring sessions for every nursing course helped me be successful in all of my courses. I liked it so much, I decided to become a tutor and I believe that helped me grow as a nursing student,” she said. “The nursing professors were extremely supportive and were there for me in times of success and in times of stress. Professor Dr. Janice Miller and Professor Judy Carino continually gave me encouragement in class and as the president of the Student Nurses Association (SNA). I believe my involvement in SNA and as a tutor helped me be a standout candidate when interviewing for my first nursing job. I am grateful for those opportunities.”

Stafford was recognized for excellence by the Nursing faculty during COD’s annual Celebration of Academic Excellence. Having earned her Associate in Applied Science degree and graduating with high honors, she is currently a float pool nurse at Good SamaritanHospital, where she works with many different patient populations, from step-down critical care to behavioral health. She is also pursuing her Bachelor of Science in Nursing at Purdue Northwest through its RN-to-BSN transfer program, after which she would like to complete a master’s degree and possibly become a clinical nurse instructor at COD. 

Her advice to students who are considering COD’s Nursing program is to work hard and keep pursuing their dreams.

“I firmly believe that the COD Nursing program prepares you for nursing better than any other program out there,” she said. “From the support of the professors to the free tutoring for each course, it is the top of the top. I felt confident going into my first job that I had acquired a strong skill set as a foundation.”

Learn more about the Nursing program at College of DuPage