NIACC Stories

From NIACC to PTA: A Journey Empowered by Education and Support

Natalie Mujica, 2021 NIACC Graduate

As a proud 2021 graduate of North Iowa Area Community College (NIACC), my journey to becoming a Physical Therapist Assistant (PTA) has been both inspiring and transformative. NIACC offered me more than just an education; it provided a nurturing environment where critical thinking and hands-on learning went hand in hand, especially through experiences like the on-campus Simulation Lab. These opportunities prepared me for the realistic expectations of healthcare, a sector where both challenges and rewards are immense.

My interest in becoming a PTA was sparked during my A.A. Degree studies, particularly after completing a course in Body Structure and Function. Anatomy and Physiology fascinated me, leading me to enroll in NIACC’s PTA Program. Today, I can confidently say I love my career. Helping individuals regain their functionality and witnessing their journey back to health is profoundly satisfying.

The Future Ready Iowa Last Dollar Scholarship played a pivotal role in my educational journey. It alleviated financial pressures by allowing me to focus more on my studies and less on how to afford living expenses, especially during my clinical rotation. This scholarship is crucial for students like me, providing the necessary support to succeed academically. After graduation, I was fortunate to start my career at Pella Regional Health Center, the same place where I had my clinical rotation. As I continue to work in Iowa, I am committed to contributing to the community that supported my educational journey.

I urge legislators to continue funding the Future Ready Iowa Last Dollar Scholarship. It’s more than just financial aid; it’s a lifeline for students aiming to fill high-need roles in our workforce. Moreover, as someone passionate about Physical Therapy, I advocate for continued support for services that make a significant difference in people’s lives. Investing in education and healthcare is investing in a brighter, healthier future for Iowa.

From NIACC to PTA: A Journey Empowered by Education and Support
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