Skip to Main Content

Fulfilling Her Calling

December 20, 2017 - 3 minute read

Hera Kissoyan

Hera Kissoyan’s grandmother had always told her that she had what it took to someday be a nurse. And she always told her grandmother that she was wrong.

After graduating from high school, Hera embarked on a bachelor’s degree in psychology, first at a junior college and then at Vanguard University. “I’ve always been interested in helping people, and I found the human mind fascinating,” she says. But once she began taking classes, Hera started thinking back to her grandmother’s words, wondering if she might have been right.

My instructors molded me and shaped me into being the nurse I am today. They taught me how to be a caring and compassionate bedside nurse.

Between studying for her psychology classes, Hera began volunteering at Hoag Hospital in Newport Beach. She brought patients water and magazines, she bathed and fed them, and she talked to them, or just listened.

“I got to hear their stories,” she says. “It was more interpersonal, and I love that about nursing. People in the hospital are in their most vulnerable state. Just to be that person to say there’s a light at the end of the tunnel, to be their advocate, to help them get through one of the scariest times of their life.”

Hera even remembers being able to comfort dying patients and their families. "I was able to take away some of the burden that family members feel when their loved one is dying, just being there during that process."

After graduating with her degree in psychology, Hera began looking for nursing programs. “I wanted to go to a great nursing school, and Concordia was rated one of the top for accelerated nursing,” she says. Her excitement grew after she applied and received an invitation to the campus to interview for the program and meet the instructors, all of whom are nurses.

Hera was accepted to the Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing (ABSN) program, and over the next 15 months she not only learned how to be a nurse, but she developed bonds with her professors that still hold fast. “Professor Linda Murphy became like a second mom to me,” she says. “She just cared so much about her students. I got follow-up emails from her all the time. I ended up getting sick, and she was my goto woman. She made sure I was ok. She really made me succeed in the program. I couldn't have made it without her.”

It was Dr. Carol Holt, though, who instilled in her the passion and confidence that she would need for a career in nursing. “She made me realize how much I love the critical care world of nursing,” Hera says. “It was one of the hardest classes in the program, and I loved every minute of it because of her.”

My professional career is also my personal passion, and it does not get better than that.

Less than four months after graduating from Concordia, Hera landed a job as a Registered Nurse at Cedars-Sinai hospital in Los Angeles. She now works in a specialized sub-ICU transplant unit, where she nurses patients both before and after they undergo their operations. “My favorite stories are the ones where my patients get the phone call saying, ‘We have an organ for you!’ Just hearing where they were when they got that phone call. Their emotions when they got that phone call. And then to be able to say congratulations at the end of it all.”

Hera’s grandmother didn’t live to see her become a nurse, but she knows that she would have been proud to see her fulfill her calling. “On my toughest days at work, I think of her. She is my voice of truth to push through.”

Hera also continues to receive guidance and support from her professors in the ABSN program. “I don’t think I would be here if it wasn’t for all of my instructors,” she says. “They molded me and shaped me into being the nurse I am today. They taught me how to be a caring and compassionate bedside nurse.”

She tells them that going to Concordia for her nursing degree was the greatest decision she ever made. “To wake up every day and look forward to going to work is how I know I am exactly where I belong. My professional career is also my personal passion and it does not get better than that.”

Back to top