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Alumni Profiles

Nancy Phillips (Goegan)

Nancy Phillips (Goegan)

Faculty of Applied Health & Community Studies
Year of Graduation: 2010
Program: Practical Nursing

Learning to Fly Again

Nancy Phillips (Goegan) is a Registered Practical Nurse at the Sheridan Villa long-term care facility operated by Peel Region. At the beginning of her second semester in the Practical Nursing program she developed eye problems forcing her to pull out of the program. Despite this setback, Nancy returned to Sheridan, working against all odds to graduate with her class and pursue what she calls a rewarding and energizing career.

About seven years ago I was working in office administration and wanted to change careers but wasn’t quite sure what to do. After a bad fall which kept me off work for a week, I had an epiphany: I wanted to become a Personal Support Worker.

It didn’t take long to realize that I had made the right decision in coming to Sheridan to pursue this goal. I loved the program, the professors and my fellow students. Following graduation in 2006, I took on five personal support worker jobs to maximize my income.

Wishing to broaden my skill set and opportunities to assist those in need, I enrolled full-time in the Practical Nursing program in September 2008. Three months later, my vision began to deteriorate quickly and by the end of January I had the first of what would be five operations (2 for cataract and 3 for detached retina). Nevertheless, I was extremely determined to complete my diploma. Four months later, I returned to Sheridan, with the help of Disabilities Services which allowed me extra time and equipment to write my tests and exams. It gave me great pleasure to graduate in 2010, the same year as my son, Nathan Goegan, who graduated from the University of Guelph. It was tough being a full time mature student, single, with a mortgage. I needed funds coming in, so I worked several different part-time jobs as a Personal Support Worker while I pursued my Practical Nursing studies.

The following year was marked with several happy milestones. In February 2011, I married David Phillips, a retired high school teacher, who was working as a school bus driver transporting a special needs child whom I also was caring for in the community. In October of that same year, my son Luke Goegan (Tool and Die Maker 2006) married my former classmate and friend Kristina Jamnik (Personal Support Worker 2006). My new daughter-in-law, Kristina went on to complete the Early Childhood Education program at Sheridan and now works for the Peel Region. I am so fortunate – not often do we get to introduce our children to their future life partners! I am also happy to report that my vision has been restored.

Life certainly has its funny twists. We are never too old to start over and I hope my children (and other young people) learn from me that, regardless of their course in life or what choices they have made, they can go back to school and learn to fly once again. Believe you can do it! Be willing to take a risk! Dreams do come true, but they often take a lot of work, determination and a fair share of hope and faith.

It gave me such a thrill walk down the halls of Sheridan with other students and gather new skills together with them. The encouragement I received from the Registrar, faculty, and staff, along with fellow classmates and alumni was invaluable.