For 10 years, Suzette Meche’s nursing textbooks stared back from her desk, unopened. Now, she’s finally putting them away after completing her BS in Nursing degree through the University of Louisiana at Lafayette’s online RN to BSN degree program.
Meche was inspired early to pursue nursing, in part, by seeing her mother attend school and begin her own career as an LPN.
“I kind of knew I had wanted to be a nurse from very young. I like taking care of people,” Meche says.
The Arnaudville native practiced for 15 years before deciding to pursue her bachelor’s in nursing.
Meche — a 20-year LHC Group employee — initially began earning her BSN degree in 2010 using grant funding provided by LHC Group. However, she soon found she needed to prioritize her family, leaving the program in 2012.
“My children came first during that time,” she says. “I put school on hold until I could see I was mentally ready to get back into it. But I had the books for the next semester, and I kept them on my desk so that every day it was a reminder to me that I needed to do it.”
It took several years, but Meche was finally able to once again pursue her BSN. Only this time, it was 100% online — a new challenge Meche embraced.
“I knew when I started, I was going to finish this time,” she says.
Meche has experience managing her own schedule — a critical trait to success in online learning. After beginning her career with LHC Group as a field nurse, she moved into case management and then began working from home in coding and auditing.
“I've always had great leadership and flexibility with my job,” Meche says. “Even when I worked at the office, I was able meet my personal demands and my work demands, and I didn't have to compromise.”
In this phase of her life, Meche was able to begin her work for LHC Group earlier in the day, so that she could complete coursework in the afternoons and evenings. Being able to flex her schedule and complete coursework online meant Meche could still be there for her family.
“Every day I would just make a plan of what I needed to do and do it,” she says. “If I had an activity, like a ball game or a family function, I would do my schoolwork around that. I didn’t miss anything."
Earning her BSN in May 2022 was the culmination of a personal goal, says Meche, but not necessarily the culmination of her higher education.
"I’ve always liked school, and when I first started 10 years ago, my goal was to earn my masters to teach nursing at the college level,” says Meche. “I have a really good job, but I just feel like I could give back with a master's in nursing."