Working Hard to Achieve Her Dreams

Published: May 2, 2023

To say College of Western Idaho (CWI) Registered Nursing (RN) student, Sara Alton, had an eventful two years in the program may be an understatement.

When Alton entered the program in Fall 2021, she was six months pregnant with her youngest.

She was inspired to attend college because she has always wanted to further her education and use that knowledge to serve the community she lives in.

Having a fascination with working in medicine, Alton chose to pursue nursing after discovering this path would allow her to further her knowledge, exercise precise skills, and have the most interactions with patients. The decision to attend CWI to receive that education was an easy one for the wife and, now, mother of two.

“There was a more well-round application process for nursing, it was affordable, and allowed me to still prioritize my family,” Alton said.

Alton’s experience in the program solidified her decision to come to CWI for her training and schooling was the correct one. She says the RN program has provided her and her classmates with real-world experiences —whether it is learning the fundamentals in a lab with mannequins, experiencing simulations to have a safe place to learn and practice clinical judgment, or getting the opportunity to go through real-life clinicals to implement their knowledge.

She also credits the program’s instructors to being instrumental in her success.

“They afford the opportunity to ask questions, receive feedback, and improve on your knowledge and take it to the next level. When I started in the program and was pregnant, the professors met with me regularly and supported me to be successful in the program.”

This support remained true when Alton’s son was born six weeks prematurely and prompted her to a NICU stay in the middle of the semester.

But even through those unexpected events, Alton’s education never faltered. She earned a 4.0 GPA that semester and was even elected as CWI’s Student Nurses Association President and an Emerging Scholar for the following academic year.

Alton is now set to graduate and earn her Associate of Science degree from CWI’s RN program at the end of Spring 2023, where she then will finish up her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Lewis-Clark State College, which she is currently in the bridge program for. After that, Alton will begin work as an RN at St. Luke’s Health System in their telemetry and cardiac step-down units.

As she gets ready for the next path in her life, Alton reflects on what she’s been able to accomplish over the last two years. This experience through the program has shown Alton she can do difficult things and succeed in whatever she puts her mind to.

“Because of CWI, I have the opportunity to succeed in my dreams and be an example to those who want to do the same.”

She encourages others going through or about to start the program to stay motivated.

“It's hard work, but completely doable. You have every resource available to succeed!”

Applications for CWI’s Registered Nursing program are open through Friday, May 19. For more information on the application process and requirements, please visit the Registered Nursing page, or contact Allison Baker at or 208.562.2307.

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