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Tuan A. Dao

Tuan Dao - Front of StatueTuan Dao Statue BackTuan Dao

Tuan A. Dao never thought he would "dare to care," but now he knows he has it in him. Dao was born and raised in Saigon, Vietnam. He came to California as a high school exchange student a few months before he started at Cerritos College in 2000. His family still lives in Vietnam except for his mother who immigrated in the U.S. a few years ago.

When he first attended Cerritos College, he was taking ESL classes and still wondering what he wanted to do with his life. He tried biochemistry, computer science, and business. He received an associate degree and transferred to California State University, Long Beach as a Computer Information System (CIS) major at the end of year 2003, but he was still not sure if he wanted to spend a portion of his life in front of a computer screen or inside a cubicle.

The turning point came when Dao met an old classmate from a chemistry lab who just graduated from the Cerritos College Nursing Program. “She inspired me into nursing,” he said. It was a breakthrough from his family tradition where his parents were both engineers.

In 2004 he came back to Cerritos College to take some nursing prerequisite classes. Then, he was admitted to the Cerritos College Nursing Program in fall 2005 and graduated in fall 2007.

“Cerritos College, specifically the Nursing Program, gave me tremendous help and guidance,” said Dao. “It provided me with the most updated information and detailed guidelines for my educational success as well as career choices.”

“I still remember a few weeks before I graduated from the nursing school, we had a representative from AfterCollege, a career network for college students, show us how to write a resume and how to apply for jobs online. Thanks to that, I got job offers from the places I sent my resume to.”

He also recalls that the Cerritos College counselors and faculty were very enthusiastic, very resourceful and very passionate. “They give students chances to better themselves,” said Dao.

Currently, he works as a registered nurse at the Downey Regional Medical Center Medical/Surgical unit. His responsibilities include providing and managing care to five patients, setting up care plans, teaching patients and their families about patient care and self care, and working with other healthcare providers to optimize patient health benefit. His goal there is to become a critical care nurse in operation room.

He is planning to go back to school by next spring to complete his bachelor’s degree and then earn a master’s degree to seek new experiences and challenges.