With her bachelor’s in hotel management from UNLV in 2006, Robyn Mathis built a career in the events and entertainment field for 15 years, even starting her own company to help manage clients’ meetings and transportation.
But like most people in 2021, Mathis’ career was halted by COVID-19, with her industry taking a particularly severe hit.
“Literally one day I lost everything,” she recalls. “Every client I had because there were no more meetings, no events, no more anything happening. It just went away instantaneously.”
She had always liked nursing but never seriously pursued it because she already had a successful career. She researched UNLV Nursing’s 2nd Bach program and saw how the accelerated program could fit into her life. She also saw the need for nurses and wanted to answer the call.
“I felt, if I'm going to do something, I can give back and help somebody," she says. "We have such an issue with nurses and staffing. Knowing there's such a problem, I can go help and help out these folks that have been working so hard for all these years.”
Moreover, Mathis knew she couldn’t wait around for work to come back. “I wasn't deciding to do this and quitting my job,” she explains. “My job just vanished one day. I had to decide: I was either going to sit around and feel sorry for myself, or I could do something about it.”
Mathis admits it’s challenging to balance school with her personal life, calling her education “more than a full-time job.” But she knew it was going to be hard beforehand, so the heavy workload isn’t a surprise for her and her family. “There is a light at the end of the tunnel, so it's been fine, and we're managing to get through.”
To help the process, she draws on her skills she built in her hospitality career. “Working in the events industry, you have to be super organized because you've got a million pieces going at all times,” she says. “That's helped me in this spot, knowing I have three weeks to get through an entire semester and I need to be organized, on time and manage all of those things to have a successful class.”