When Emily Stone was diagnosed in June with acute lymphoblastic leukemia, her first priority was to get well, not finish nursing school.
But then it hit her: why couldn’t she do both?
"It was a difficult situation to be in because the nursing programs are so competitive, once you get out of the system it's hard to get back into a class to finish up,” she said.
So now the local mother of two is studying up at UCSD’s Thornton Hospital inside her hospital room that doubles as a classroom. Her cancer is now in remission and she should graduate in a couple weeks.
Stone said she was fortunate to discover from National University that she could complete her two-year program, even her clinical hours, from the hospital.
She set up a tray next to her window with her laptop and medical books and was good to go.
Stone said it’s been a battle studying while occasionally nauseous from the chemotherapy, but she also found educational help from her nurses.
“It was tough to study and stay focused, but I got through it, sometimes I would run out into the hall and yell to my nurses hey what do you think about this, help me with this," she said.
In the long run, she believes the circumstances will make her a better nurse.
“I think it will make me a better nurse that I can understand how people might be feeling and how to take care of them more effectively,” she said.