A Kentucky State University graduating senior is ready to begin a career in nursing after earning her associate degree at the college on the hill.

Lila D. Johnson, a senior nursing major from Frankfort, said she chose Kentucky State because of proximity and the availability of the evening nursing program.

One of her favorite parts of her journey was the camaraderie with her classmates.

“Nursing is a hard major and we all supported each other with encouragement and understanding,” Johnson said.

Johnson said Patti Marraccini, Dr. Mary Ellen Broaddus and Rebecca McCoy were the most influential to her during her academic journey.

“These teachers went above and beyond by always being available to us, helping us to figure out how to learn what we needed to know and giving encouragement along the way,” Johnson said.

Johnson said she’d like to work in a hospital setting now and possibly work in community health one day.

The aspiring nurse offered encouragement to those still seeking a degree.

“Keep telling yourself that you can do it,” Johnson said. “Take good care of yourself, get plenty of rest and set priorities on how you’re going to use your time. Get to know the teachers and talk to them.”

Johnson said she couldn’t have reached her goal without faith, family and friends.

“I prayed every day for the perseverance to accomplish what I needed to in order to be successful,” Johnson said. I will continue those prayers as I help others in my new career.”

Johnson and her classmates will cross the stage Friday, May 10 during commencement in the William Exum Center gymnasium.