By AMY RADIK
For the Recorder
As a 23 year-old father of two, "community college," according to Jeremy Lombardoni, "was my only life-saving choice. It was local, accessible, affordable, and offered the closest nursing program. It met all my career choice needs."
Jeremy, however, didn't start out looking to earn a degree in nursing.
"After high school, my best friend and I went to Bible College in Pennsylvania with plans to do mission work," he explains. "Instead, I got married and started working to support my family. I left my best bud in Pennsylvania, moved back to New York, and took a back-breaking job lifting heavy boxes all day long. My friend also got married, but he used his brain instead of his back, by finding work in a hospital with plans to find a nursing school. I liked his idea, and in 2002, we both started nursing school. I can honestly say this great field of nursing actually found me; I wasn't looking for it!"
After graduating, Jeremy took a job as a RN at Nathan Littauer Hospital. He considered going on to become a Physician's Assistant or Nurse Practitioner, but discovered that his RN salary with some overtime was almost equal to that of those occupations. He did, however, continue his education.
"I earned my bachelor's degree in Nursing through SUNY Plattsburgh's online program and chose Nurse Anesthesia as my career path. The closest anesthesia school was at Albany Medical College so I applied for a job in one of their ICUs. While buying our first home and finishing my last year of the bachelor's program, I started working in the Heart Transplant Unit at Albany Med. I applied to the Nurse Anesthesia program in 2008, completed my bachelor's degree in 2009, and began the journey through what I like to call 'the fourth circle of hell' -- anesthesia school -- in August 2009."
Jeremy explained his anesthesia clinicals took him from Albany to Massachusetts and places in-between. Graduation and full preparation for entry into practice was November 2011. "I finally earned my M.S. from Albany Medical College with a concentration in Nurse Anesthesiology. Although I'm not an anesthesiologist, I do the same work," says Jeremy.
Currently, Jeremy is working at Nathan Littauer Hospital as an independent Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist. "Although I've met my career goal, I wouldn't mind getting my doctorate in nurse anesthesia down the road, if my wife lets me," he jokes.
Jeremy and his wife Sarah, also an RN, live in Gloversville with their children: Jeremy, 11 (future Philadelphia Eagles' future running back or nurse if that doesn't pan out); daughters Abigail, 10 (future Iron Chef); Lyndsay, 8 (future veterinarian or nurse); and Riley, 4 (who wants to be the center of the universe like her mother).
"I'd be remiss not to mention my mother, who inspires me every day," says Jeremy. "She graduated from F-M with high honors after dropping out of high school, after earning a GED, and while working full-time and raising a family."
After thousands of hours of studying and hard work, Jeremy says it has all been worth it. "F-M is not for everybody; nursing and nurse anesthesia are not for everybody; but, F-M can get you there. I dare you to find a less expensive, faster, easier way to make it to six figures!"
Amy Radik is the coordinator of public relations
and marketing at F-MCC.