Joe Crossman – Licensed Practical Nurse Program

47 years old and I have just completed two years of the Licensed Practical Nurse Program at NBCC in Miramichi …

Hello, my name is Joe Crossman and I am from the Eel Ground First Nation in New Brunswick. I am 47 years old and I have just completed two years of the Licensed Practical Nurse Program at NBCC in Miramichi. Over the last two years I have been through many ups and downs, one being my age. I have been out of school for many years prior to taking the LPN course and it was difficult for me to get back into the frame of mind of being a “student”. I found it difficult to go from being a full time employee to being a student on a budget. However, I knew that with perseverance, in the end it would all be worth it.

Trying to deal with home and school life was a challenge; it proved difficult to juggle both. Being the only male student had its “pros” and its “cons”, one pro being that none of the instructors or other classmates ever forgot my name. One con was that I had no other male counterparts to confide in and to befriend. Being in a classroom full of women can be intimidating.

Even though the past two years have been a struggle, in the end it was a rewarding experience. I got to witness many different aspect of the health profession and I am now able to help people with the knowledge that I gained. Through my hard work and dedication I was able to graduate with honors and achieve a spot on “The Dean’s List”.

My advice to other Aboriginals seeking to further their post secondary education is this; it does not matter how old you are, where you come from or how long you have been away from school, if the desire or dream of education is there, take it. Don’t let anything or anyone stand in your way and never give up no matter how hard, at times it may seem. The end result is worth it! I have said this all my life; knowledge is something that nobody can ever take from you!

I have three role models in my life; the first two were and are my parents, Harvey and Madeline Crossman, for all that they gave and taught me and all the love they bestowed upon me. They have been gone for seven years now. My Father passed in April and my Mother on my birthday in December that same year. I know that they are still with me and are very proud of what I have done. My other role model is my wife, Anne who, without her, I would have never finished the training. She stood by me through thick and thin and pushed me forward when the going got rough. She is my role model because she has never given up, no matter how hard the struggle. She is always there to help people and to keep learning. I am sincerely grateful and thankful to my Mother, Father, and my dear wife, Anne. With the support of your family, you can do anything!