A native of Virginia, VA, Northland Community & Technical College Practical Nursing (PN) student Kristin Miller and her family have found a home in Grand Forks, ND, after relocating here 2003. “We moved to Grand Forks when my husband was offered a position as a psychologist at UND,” recalls Miller, “We’ve chosen to stay for the excellent schools and community. If you can make it through the winter, all other aspects of living here are positive!”

After her move to Grand Forks from South Dakota, Miller knew she wanted to make a career change. “It took me a while to realize that being a biology teacher wasn’t the right fit for me,” explains Miller, “I wanted to do something meaningful, yet I did not want to have to perform in front of a crowd.” With the aspiration of entering the nursing field, she didn’t know if the time sacrifice was realistic for her and her family.  “I thought if I wanted to go into nursing, I’d have to get another B.A.,” Miller says, “My friend recommended I look into the programs at Northland. I didn’t realize there were so many options to get into the field.”

While continuing her nursing education Miller was encouraged to take part in the professional networking event, Career Conversations. The Career Conversations event is a collaboration between Northern Valley Careers and regional education and workforce partners, including Northland.

Miller knew her experience in mental health could lead to a potential nursing path. With a husband in the field and a son with autism, she was immersed in that specialty in her daily life. Miller chose to explore the Red River Behavioral Health System. “I was able to sit down with the organization’s leadership and learn what types of services they provide and what types of jobs are available for someone in my area of study. In addition, I was able to ask many questions and get advice on how to pursue this line of work,” states Miller.

With her education at Northland nearly complete, Miller is looking towards a career as a nurse in a mental health facility or in public health. “My top choice for my clinical placement is with Altru’s inpatient mental health department. I would say getting more experience in this field is my top priority,” Miller explains, “I would recommend any student that is able to participate take advantage of the Career Conversations event. It could potentially open the door to future career placement.”

The Career Conversations networking event will take place on April 9 and 10, 2019. Northland students can now register for the event online. Deadline for registration is Friday, March 29.