Student Spotlight: Michelle Manfull
Published on Oct 28, 2021
Michelle Manfull, mother of five and Elizabethtown Community and Technical College
nursing student, is well on her way to achieving a dream many years in the making.
Originally from Oklahoma, Manfull started working in the medical field in high school as a candy striper. She said that for as long as she could remember she’s been drawn to the medical field as she’s watched her mother enjoy a successful career as a dietician in a hospital setting.
“My mom was very much of the mind that getting a job early was important, so when it came that time, something medical was a no-brainer for me,” said Manfull. “After getting my feet wet as a candy striper, I decided to enroll in a surgical tech program at the local technology center and I really found that I enjoy the surgical environment.”
That technical education led her to jobs as a nurse aid, phlebotomist and a successful 12-year career as a surgical tech, eight years of those years at Ireland Army Hospital on Fort Knox, upon her family being stationed there. It was at this time she decided to go back to school to become a nurse.
“I finally realized there wasn’t ever going to be any right time to start classes and I knew I wanted to show my kids that you really can go after what you want,” said Manfull. “ECTC was the local option when I decided to start my prerequisites seven years ago, one class at a time. I would work full time all day and then take night classes here at the Elizabethtown campus or on Fort Knox.”
“Mrs. Glutting, my advisor at ECTC, was helpful and supportive from day one, coaching me through what I needed when I needed it. I sat in her office numerous times stressing about how I was ever going to make it work, but she helped me choose classes that worked for my schedule and met my requirements,” Manfull said.
A change in family dynamics and attending to the care of her daughter with special needs were challenges she persevered to get to where she is today.
“These things have been a struggle in conjunction with trying to go to school and work full time. I approached it one class at a time, one day at a time,” said Manfull. “I just pushed through to do what I had to in order to get to that end goal of becoming a nurse. And I’ve wanted to show my kids that it’s possible to go after your goals even if it’s difficult.”
Manfull was admitted to the nursing program at ECTC Spring 2021. With the support of her boyfriend, their children and financial aid, she’s been able to cut back her work hours to focus more on classes and excelling in the training she needs. Manfull is a recipient of the Dr. Robert and Rita Robbins Excellence in Allied Health Education Endowment Scholarship. At a recent luncheon for the ECTC Kentucky Association of Nursing Students (KANS), Manfull got to meet Rita Robbins, an ECTC nursing alumna.
“I get financial aid and scholarships which have covered all of my tuition. It was so great to meet nurse Rita Robbins to say thank you for those extra dollars that have really taken the financial pressure off,” she said. “If I wasn’t getting this aid, I would have to pick up more work hours to afford tuition. Those hours would not only take away from time to study for my classes but also with my family, so those extra dollars have really taken the pressure off.”
Manfull said adults who are hesitant to continue their education due to other commitments or for fear of being the odd person out in their classes, should know that with flexible scheduling and helpful instructors, it’s worth it to take the dive.
“It took me a long time to get where I’m at and I’m proud of myself for pushing through and setting a good example for my kids. You’re never too old to better yourself, so now is the time to start,” said Manfull. “I’m thankful that once I graduate from ECTC, I'll be able to go ahead and start working, then pursue my BSN. I didn’t have to pursue a four-year degree upfront to start in my dream career."
Manfull expects to graduate with her associate degree in December 2022 and plans to pursue a bachelor’s of science in nursing through ECTC’s University Center.
If you or someone you know is ready to start or continue their education, call 270-769-2371, visit elizabethtown.kctcs.edu or email email@example.com to have your questions answered and get started.