Upon entering her final semester of high school, 17-year-old Imunique Triplett decided that would take her another step closer into the professional world—she earned a nursing degree before graduating high school!
The program is an innovative dual-enrollment initiative of Milwaukee Public Schools (MPS), Milwaukee Area Technical College (MATC), and the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee (UWM) that “allows eligible students to complete their high school graduation requirements while earning college credits from both MATC and UWM at no expense to the student.”
The nursing track Triplett completed only reserved 36 spots out of generally 150 applicants. Students receive MCAT training and can earn their state certification as a nursing assistant (CNA) and possibly their license as a practical nurse (LPN).
Recent reports show that 82% of Milwaukee’s public school system students are considered economically disadvantaged. Out of a 77,700 student population, 54% are Black, 27% are Hispanic, 11% are white, and 7% are Asian.
Triplett told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that she found a way to balance nursing school and high school during the height of the pandemic. She even worked at an understaffed home once a week, answering call lights, assisting patients with daily activities, and showing patients compassion while they were away from their loved ones.
Before joining the program, Triplett was unsure about the medical field.
“I was actually kind of anti-healthcare because I was so scared of body fluids and blood and things like that, so I kind of made my own assumptions about the healthcare field based on what I saw on TV and everything,” she explained to the Atlanta Black Star.
Triplett’s mother, Bonnie Campbell, is proud of her daughter. “She wasn’t into the meds and stuff like that, so I was like, are you sure, because we’ve got to be the ones running you back and forth, so make sure this is what you want to do, and she really surprised me,” Campbell told the news outlet.
Triplett had a change of heart despite her apprehensions as she learned more about the field.
“I would have had so many regrets, so I’m glad I just went and did it and took that leap of faith into the unknown basically,” Triplett said of her achievement.