Sagal is a single mother of two children ages seven and nine. Together, they make their home in south Seattle.
A few years ago, Sagal met with a staff member at the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families’ (TANF) office looking for opportunities to improve her family’s financial stability. After learning about Sagal’s interests, talents, and skills, the caseworker suggested a number of opportunities, including in the healthcare industry, and specifically training as a nurse with Health Workforce for the Future.
Sagal enrolled, joining the pre-requisite nursing cohort through South Seattle College. To put food on the table, she also began working part-time as a bilingual medical translator, stepping into the healthcare field while working from home doing remote translation and interpretation. Segal began earning about $500 each month to help support her family, and moved off TANF cash assistance. The flexibility of working from home also allowed her to support her children in lieu of additional childcare. Even while serving these many roles, she completed all of nursing’s pre-requisite courses with competitive marks, moving on to the next step—the licensed practical nursing (LPN) program.
Sagal met regularly with her fellow participants, particularly in the first four quarters, to share challenges and support. Therapeutic counseling helped Sagal manage the stress of balancing a job and studies with children. The navigator staff member that accompanied Sagal through the process ensured these resources were accessible.
Sagal successfully completed LPN training, now just 11 months into the program. She studied intensely for the national credentialing exam (NCLEX-PN), and passed, gaining state license to work as a licensed practical nurse (LPN).
In September 2015, Sagal secured a LPN position in a local rehabilitation center, working 32 hours a week and earning $27 an hour. In an email to her navigator, she explained her drive to become a nurse:
“The reasons I would like to become a registered nurse are many ... I would love to motivate others who are in the same shoes as I was some years ago. I want to make them understand that hard work pays off, and to persevere and believe. I have always been a good student and have been able to achieve the goals that I set for myself. My children look up to me as a role model, and their grades at school reflect that. I want to be an exemplary person for my children so that they too can achieve their goals.”
Sagal was accepted into the LPN-to-RN ladder program at Highline College—just 17 months after her journey in healthcare began. She graduated with her associates degree in nursing (ADN) in June 2017, and gained her national certification and state license to begin full-time work as a registered nurse in September 2017, earning $39 an hour. Sagal has shared that she wants to continue her journey further by enrolling in the RN-to-BSN program at the University of Washington (UW-Bothell Campus), with the final career goal of becoming an advanced registered nurse practitioner (ARNP).
We congratulate Sagal and the hundreds of individuals who have dedicated their lives to our healthcare while building a prosperous future for themselves and their families.