ACTC Three sisters on nursing journey | ACTC

ACTC Three sisters on nursing journey

Oct. 28, 2020

three sisters posing together for photo

Sisters Brianna Hale, Erin Hale and Shanita Horn say the choice to continue their education at Ashland Community and Technical College (ACTC) was to make a better life for themselves and their families. 

Not only did they enroll at ACTC at the same time, but they also enrolled in the same program, Practical Nursing (PN), which is something that Terri Ratliff, program coordinator, says doesn’t happen often.

“We have never had siblings in the PN program, much less three,” said Ratliff. 

The sisters graduated from Mountwest Community and Technical College from the Certified Clinical Medical Assistant (CCMA) program and chose to continue their education at ACTC. 

“All three of us went to Mountwest together, and I believe that all three of us wanted to become nurses while attending there,” Brianna said. “We would always talk about going to nursing school after we graduated.”

“I always wanted to be a nurse,” Shanita added. “Nursing was something I had planned since I was in grade school. My sisters and I had always talked about nursing when we were younger. I don't think we even thought of a different career path growing up. It was something that was in our hearts to do.” 

The three plan to continue their education together after their time at ACTC and become registered nurses. 

Ratliff says all three are excellent students and are very supportive of one another. 

“I think it is great to have someone there to help support you and we keep each other on track,” said Shanita. 

“Being in the same class as my sisters isn’t bad at all. Erin and I live closer together so we study for our exams together sometimes. If we need help with something, we have each other. We will be graduating together if everything goes smoothly for all of us,” Brianna added. 

Their educational journey hasn’t always been an easy one. Shanita says she had to drop out of high school when she had her oldest son. She received her GED in 2017 and enrolled in college after being a stay at home mother to her two children for ten years. 

Brianna had her oldest daughter when she was 15-years-old, leading her to drop out of high school.  She earned her GED the same year. 

“I enrolled in the ACTC PN program at the age of 18. I ended up getting pregnant with my second daughter and had to quit. I went to Mountwest a couple years later and graduated from there as a CCMA but decided I wanted more,” Brianna says. “I love people and I love to interact with them. It makes my heart happy knowing that I am and will be one of the reasons they will feel better and/or be comfortable.”  

The three say completing this program will be one of the first steps in giving their children the lives they deserve. 

“I want to eventually get me and my daughter a house and the life I am working hard for,” says Erin.

She is convinced that completing the PN program will be another milestone to help her create a better life for her family. 

The Practical Nursing diploma program prepares individuals to practice within the legal scope of practical nursing under the supervision of a registered nurse or physician. 

You can learn more about the PN program by visiting


Written by Megan Smedley, ACTC eLearning Support Specialist