When Shad Schneider graduated from high school, he decided he would go to school for law enforcement “mainly because it looked fun on TV.” After graduating in 1995, his plans to become a police officer changed when he ran into a friend who worked for United Parcel Services (UPS). “UPS was hiring and I applied on a whim and ended up working there for 12 years,” says Shad, who grew up in central Illinois not far from where he lives now.
Ready for a Change
After a while, Shad was ready to do something new and less physical. His mother was a retired nurse, so healthcare was familiar to him from his years growing up around it, but it was Shad’s wife who suggested that he go to nursing school.
Shad enrolled at Graham Hospital School of Nursing. “I liked it right away,” he says. “I like helping people and it just felt like the right place to be.” While in school, he gained experience as a tech in the emergency department of Graham Hospital, and when he graduated in 2009, he accepted a nursing position in the same area. “I fell in love with the Emergency Room(ER). You get exposure to a little bit of everything there, and anytime I’ve even wandered into another clinical area, I always miss the ER and seem to wander back.”
New Experience, But Always Back Home to the ER
Shad left Graham Hospital after six years before joining Pekin Hospital/Unity Point Pekin ER. Again, he tried something new in 2019—working telephone triage for several years and in behavioral health for a few months—but his passion for emergency nursing led him back to Unity Point Pekin’s emergency room in January 2021. Recently, he had an opportunity to join a team at a small seven bed emergency room close to home at Mason District Hospital. He hopes to retire at this small, family-like facility close to home. “I feel like I am good at staying calm when patients are in crisis, and I love working as a team,” he says of always gravitating back to the emergency nursing arena.
Ready for the Next Step: a Bachelor of Science Nursing Degree
Two former colleagues of Shad were going to Ashworth College to earn their Bachelor of Science Nursing online and he decided to join them in late 2019. “About three classes in, the school shut down the nursing program,” he recalls. “They provided a list of other schools with nursing programs and American Sentinel was on it.” Shad reached out and liked everything he heard about the Registered Nurse to Bachelor of Science in Nursing (RN to BSN) program at American Sentinel. “For me, this is a personal goal. I never thought about nursing at age 18 and I was not a disciplined high school student. Today, obtaining a BSN is a personal goal of mine.”
A Wholehearted Recommendation
Shad anticipates graduating from American Sentinel College of Nursing and Health Sciences at Post University later this year, he states “I will be proud of my accomplishment.”
“I can’t say enough about the support and the people,” he says. “My student success advisors have been fantastic. I felt that the program was challenging but manageable as a person who works full time and has a family. “I was able to take things at my own pace and I learned a lot along the way. When I’m done, I will have gained knowledge that I can put to practical use.”