Heather Prince, DNP, APRN-CNP

Nursing Technology

Portrait of Heather Prince standing outside COTC's Pataskala campus.

As a transplant to the Buckeye State from Colorado Springs, Heather Prince used to drive past the Pataskala campus of COTC and wonder what went on there. Prince was in her 30s at the time and, as it happened, seeking a new career direction. Turns out, she wouldn’t have to look far — COTC had exactly what she needed.

“I would pass [COTC’s Pataskala campus] all the time going home, and I was like, ‘Let me just go online and see what that’s all about,’” recalled Prince, who had worked in medical billing but never with patients.

She knew she wanted a secure career that would make room for those human -to-human interactions and opportunities for travel. Immediately, nursing came into her field of view, and she enrolled at COTC in 2011.

“I feel like a lot of people don’t realize what’s available [at COTC],” Prince said. “You don’t have the traffic, the congestion, walking miles and miles to get to your classes, and things like that. And there’s so much availability there now with the online and (extended campuses).”

The flexibility offered by COTC allowed her to complete her coursework and take care of her family, and the simplicity of the scholarship process meant less work for her and more money in her pocket. The small class sizes that allowed her to easily network with fellow students and professors, the electives that let her dabble in creative fields, and the seamless transfer of credits to a university made Prince’s next move a no-brainer.

Immediately upon graduation from COTC in 2013, she became a Buckeye, earning her bachelor’s degree from The Ohio State University. “It probably took 45 minutes by the time I filled out everything and signed everything, and I didn’t have to worry about my credits transferring,” Prince said.

Thanks to an abundance of employment opportunities in the area, Prince was able to jump into her career with both feet, working at OhioHealth Doctors Hospital in Columbus while she continued her education.

A bona fide lifelong learner, she went on to obtain her master’s and doctorate degrees. Prince has since lent her knowledge to future nurses by serving as an adjunct clinical professor for Capital University’s nursing program. She also works as a nurse at The Little Clinic in Newark and as an aesthetic nurse practitioner at Newark’s Rejuvenations Facial Aesthetic Clinic.

Prince credits COTC for the jump start that launched her multifaceted career and would recommend it to anyone else looking for a change. “I loved it. I felt like in addition to not having a wait list, small class sizes, the approachability of the clinical labs, the instructors — everything just matched,” she said.