Student spotlight: Nursing graduate Tanya Foster



Photo courtesy of Tanya Foster.

COD alumna Tanya Foster graduated from College of the Desert’s nursing program in the spring of 2018 and loves working in the field. She is practicing within the grad program at Eisenhower Medical Center. Foster discussed with The Chaparral how the nursing program at COD made her successful in the field.

“It was challenging but very rewarding. Probably one of the more challenging and rewarding experiences that I’ve had. It’s really hard to summarize two years of being extremely busy and involved in the program. It’s a wonderful program and the faculty tries to make it as easy as possible. The rest is up to you,” said Foster.

The registered nursing ADN program at COD is approved by the California State Board of Nursing and requires students to have a GPA of 2.5 or higher and a Test of Academic Skills 62 percent or higher. Students must also complete pre-requisite science courses and have a clean background and pass a drug test in order to be accepted into the program.

Foster was accepted and awarded four different scholarships including the Belva Baker scholarship, the Kern O’Reilly scholarship, the Della Yodelis scholarship and the Cresswell Family Nursing scholarship. Scholarships that helped her remain invested in the program that she says is “expensive.” The price of books, a uniform, equipment and the high cost of gas for commuters that don’t live locally.

Thanks to her scholarships, Foster was able to be hands-on in the program. “A lot of people wish to support the nursing program, so there are a lot of scholarships available to nursing students,” said Foster.

Foster started her higher education as a business management major at Crafton Hills College, but she was not satisfied. “Initially I was going to study business management and I actually got pretty close to finishing, but my heart was just not in it. I initially chose it because my husband and his mother are business owners. My father at the time was a business owner and it seemed maybe it made more sense. And it was my way to contribute. But my heart just wasn’t set,” said Foster.

Foster was accepted into the NurseResidency Program that is the new grad program at Eisenhower. The program is a yearlong, competitive and requires RN’s to have their bachelor’s within five years of being hired. Foster said that it is more common now that RN’s complete their education online.

“Because of the push for more nurses to get their bachelor’s degree they are trying to work toward working nurses so they can complete their education at home because generally, I think it’s getting the license that is the challenging part. To get your bachelor’s, it is all leadership based and nursing theory-based,” said Foster.

According to Foster nurses have a busy schedule. After graduation and work experience, they have to prepare for NCLEX, the nationwide nurse licensing exam for the RNs and PNs (vocational nurses). “They always say with nurses ‘learning never stops’ and I don’t think it ever does. There is always something. That new goal that you are always going to have,” said Foster.

Foster enjoys the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) and would like to someday work there. “I liked how involved you had to be with the patients and how challenging it was. I guess with the challenge comes the satisfaction that you were able to help and handle as much as you did. It was almost like an organized chaos. I was drawn to how involved you had to be,” said Foster.

College of the Desert will be hosting a nursing graduate luncheon Nov. 16 from noon to 3:30 p.m. in the COD Gym on the Palm Desert campus to celebrate the 50th anniversary of nursing graduates. All COD nurses are encouraged to attend. Tickets are $35. RSVP by Oct. 29 to kovargas@collegeofthedesert.eduFor more information visit


Leave a Reply