Monday, February 4, 2008

A New World: Told by an IUON Alumnus

I still remember the flight to St. Kitts in the turbo jet that probably just held around 12 people max. We were a mix of nursing students, medical students, veterinarian students, professors, and tourists. For some people they have been living on the island already and they were just returning from Christmas break, but for myself and a few others we were embarking on the trip of a lifetime. I remember sitting there with mixed feelings, in disbelief that I just traveled across the States and over the Atlantic to a tiny little island which I had never heard of until a month prior. At the same time my adrenaline was pumping, my eyes were wide open and I knew that this flight was either going to make me or break me.

Once I landed I was greeted by Mr. Donley Saunders and my new roommate from Florida. Since I didn't arrived at my apartment until late in the night, I just unpacked and laid in bed contemplating about the days to come. I arrived at IUON the next morning to sign up for classes and saw a few people I had met on my flight. Later I found out that a person I met on the plane would soon become one of my best friends and my future roommate in Paducah, Kentucky; the place where we would graduate from our nursing program. That night we met up with a few others and became tourists. We all had dinner together and we just about went to every hot spot in St.Kitts. We were all strangers coming from across the United States and now we were all lost in another county. We left our family and friend’s behind and entered a new world. We had a choice, to be lost by ourselves or join together and be lost together. We decided to join together.
The greatest friendships were formed, we were inseparable, but most of all we became each other’s family. We studied together, we cooked together, we explored white sand beaches together, and most of all we struggled together. For awhile we almost forgot we were living on an island. We spent every minute of the day quizzing each other on the cranial nerves, staying up all night preparing nursing care plans, performing head-to-toe assessments on each other, and even learning how to deliver a baby. The school work became vigorous and extremely demanding. We knew if we had any chance of surviving nursing school we had to work even harder. We had to make more flashcards, and utilize our time even better. We had to somehow incorporate school time and our recreational time together or we would all go insane with the rigorous amount of work. So to keep our sanity we brought our studies to the beach. Now we were 'livin' de life', sun tanning and learning about the cardiovascular system at the same time.
Life just seemed so surreal, looking outside our classroom window and watching as the waves broke on the shore.
Twenty months later and it was all finished. I still remember stepping off that first flight at St. Kitts like it was yesterday.
I currently work in the ICU at a major hospital in the Bay area. I could never have imagined making over $50 per hour or over $90,000 in my first year as a RN!
The people we met and the memories we made will never be forgotten. IUON gave us the opportunity to do what people only dream about doing. We did it, we conquered, and we passed boards.

by Roland Joon Gabriel


veronica said...


I would like to speak to you about your experience at IUON. Could you please email me at

my husband and i are considering moving there for him to finish his RN. I'm an RN already but we want MORE info about the entire process especially since you had to deal w/ the BON here in CA.

thank you,

ctkarn said...

Hello, I am also looking at IUON for school. But I would love to talk to you about your experiences there. If you wouldnt mind, could you email me at so I can ask you a few questions?

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