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Couple moves across country to attend TCC's accelerated nursing program

Couple decides to move from Alaska to attend TCC's nursing program due to low costs
Posted at 5:45 PM, Nov 18, 2022
and last updated 2022-11-18 18:58:41-05

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — "TCC offers something that's a lot more practical and it really works around adult style busy, busy type of lifestyle," said Randy Gardner.

Randy Gardner and his wife Rachel Strain are medical assistants. Having already worked in the medical field the two made the decision to move from Wasilla, Alaska to Tallahassee to further their education through Tallahassee Community college's accelerated nursing program.

"I think we're hoping to join in the spring semester. Hopefully in the meantime, that way we'll be able to get figured out where we're going to put the travel trailer and where we're going to have our income while we're going to school," said Strain.

When deciding to make the move the couple said they found TCC's program more affordable and realistic for their lifestyle in comparison to Alaska.

Gardner and Strain said the average nursing programs in Alaska can cost upwards of $70,000. At TCC the cost of completing the program can range from $5,000 to $7,000, according to the college. Strain is wanting to explore different specialties within nursing while Gardner has his sights set on orthopedics.

At least 10% of students in the program are from out of state, something Provost of Academic Affairs Calandria Stringer attributes to the lower cost compared to other programs.

"We are the most affordable nursing program. So, we're excited that it is reaching across those state lines and we're having students come here to Tallahassee to be a part of our nursing program," said Stringer.

While Gardner and Strain feel the move from Alaska is a sacrifice, it's a move they hope will pay off in the end.

"You really never quite know what you're capable of until you take that leap of faith, and you give it a chance, e reward is worth the struggle," said Gardner.