Adult nursing student changes careers, continues to help others

Our Adult Health Careers program is an opportunity for everyone to find a new career and health others and that is no more evident than this year’s class which includes a 70-year-old former principal and educator from Haiti. Monett Fils is pursuing a certification as an adult practical nurse through the BOCES program, which is located on the Career & Technical Education Center – Albany Campus, to continue helping people, in a different way.

Student dedicates their life to helping others

“I feel like if I am going to live, five or 10 more years or more, I want to be capable of doing something useful that will help others,” said Fils.

Fils, who turned 70 last month, came to the United States two years ago and is living with her sister in Amsterdam, but it is not the first time she has been to the Capital Region.

A close up photo of Monett Fils, wearing a jacket and scarf over scrubs.
Monett Fils is exploring a new way to help people through the Adult Nursing Program.

She attended the State University of New York at Albany in the early 1990’s where she earned a bachelor’s degree in education and curriculum writing. She returned to Haiti where she earned her master’s degree and became a principal overseeing for schools.

After an earthquake in 2010 destroyed much of Haiti, Fils said took part in multiple efforts to help the inhabitants of the country but eventually her family convinced her it was too dangerous and that she should move to the United States – which she did in 2020.

“I moved to Amsterdam two years ago to be with my sister, Marie Fils-Forester. I want to contribute, to work, but decided I couldn’t be an educator or principal here because of my accents, it’s too thick,” Fils said.

“My sister is a nurse and I thought, why not? I like to help people. I like to be useful, so I came (to BOCES),” she said.

Learners of all ages can find their calling in our programs

The Capital Region BOCES Adult Practicing Nursing program encompasses 1,100 hours of classroom and clinical study and practice and prepares students to take the National Council Licensure Examination and apply to become a New York state LPN.

Fils said she is impressed with the program and the way the educators share their knowledge.

“I love how they integrate skills into the program and how they teach you and go over things multiple ways, with practice, games, review and more,” she said.
“The Adult Practical Nursing program is a great, great program, wonderful,” Fils said.

Adult Practical Nursing program Principal Paula Negri said the program is all about students like Fils.

“Monett is a prime example of what this program is all about – offering a new career and new opportunities to people from all over the world who want to help others,” Negri said.