Our Story: Knocking down barriers: Ping Lu’s journey to become a nurse

December 9, 2016

By Symone Holliday

The unmistakably caring, attentive and kind nature of Ping Lu is evident. All of her life she has been known to lend a helping hand to her friends, family and even strangers. Because of these values, nursing has always sparked Lu’s interest.  

Lu grew up in China, where higher education was not easily accessible and students did not have many options. Although she received a bachelor’s degree in engineering, her real interest was in the medical field. Lu moved to the United States in 2008 and began working as a cashier in her local grocery store. After a few years, she moved from Key West to Tallahassee in order to be closer to her husband’s family. Almost immediately, Lu began taking classes at TCC.

Anatomy and Physiology, a notoriously difficult course, was the first class Lu took at TCC. The medical terminology was a real challenge for the native Mandarin speaker. “My English speaking wasn’t fluent and my English reading was so slow,” she said.

One day, Lu curiously asked a classmate sitting near her how he did on the anatomy quiz they had recently taken. He replied that he had made a 100. Only making a grade of C herself, Lu began to feel discouraged about her performance. However, she soon overcame those negative feelings.

“We have the same teachers, the same environment and the same resources. If he can make a 100, I should be able to make a 100 also,” Lu thought to herself. Ever since that day, her attitude towards school completely shifted.

Lu began using all of the resources TCC offered. With her new found positive attitude and the help of TCC Learning Commons tutors, Lu began to excel. She made straight A’s in all of her prerequisite courses and is a star pupil in the nursing program.

Nevertheless, TCC’s very competitive nursing program has been a tough road for Lu. She maintains that her drive and high expectations of herself keep her on the right track. “My strong attitude helped me get through nursing school,” she stated.

Lu admits that TCC’s nursing program can be intense, but she also believes it is a truly valuable experience. “It helps TCC students get ready for the hospital,” she said. “That is why Tallahassee Memorial Hospital and Capital Regional Hospital like TCC students so much. We have a lot of hands-on experience and the academic skills.”

Now that Lu has graduated, she is ready to take her board exam and is looking forward to starting her new career at Tallahassee Memorial HealthCare. In her recent job interview, she was chosen by six different departments at TMH, but ultimately decided on the Clinical Decision Unit.

In the future, Lu would like to go back to school to receive a Bachelor of Science in Nursing and then a master’s degree. She says she would even consider becoming a professor at TCC one day.