CODCA student races to become a nurse as pandemic surges

Originally aired on NBC Colorado Springs - December 7, 2020

A student in rural Colorado, who’s been inspired by frontline workers fighting the pandemic, wants to become a nurse as fast as she can. During an interview with News5, it turns out, this young lady has an inspiring story herself.

Raina Ward, a Saguache resident, has dealt with severe health issues since she was a child. In 2016 she began to get extremely sick, and missed a lot of school. Raina says her illness caused her appearance to change, and then she began to get bullied. 

"It's always been me wanting to help others who have the same issues that I have," Ward explained. "I want to be that nurse practitioner that not only focuses on the physical diagnosis, but helps them mentally to understand that it's not their fault."

After her freshman year, Raina decided she wanted a more focused learning experience that would help her prepare for the future. She enrolled in Colorado Destinations Career Academy (CODCA), a career-focused online public school. Now the aspiring nurse is studying from home and has a full course load. She's taking pharmacy tech, EMT training, and anatomy.

As the pandemic continues to surge, Raina now works night shifts at a local hospital to get hands on experience. News5 asked the young lady if she was fearful of working at a hospital during a pandemic.

"If I really work at it and make sure I protect myself and others, I'll be able to help one way or another,"she said. 

As she approaches graduation this spring, Raina is applying for the CSU Pueblo Nursing Program, and hopes to work in nephrology.

To learn more about Destinations Career Academy of Colorado, visit

KEYWORDS: Destinations Career Academy of Colorado, Colorado, COVID-19, Online Learning, Online Education, Career Readiness

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