CEN student success stories


Even before graduation day, the clock starts ticking. You feel as though time is running out and every step you take seems overwhelmingly final when first choosing your career. But it’s important to realize that nothing is finite. Inspiring success stories like Brett’s are evidence that it’s never too late to change paths. You have your whole life ahead of you.

Brett graduated with a degree in kinesiology and exercise science. Like so many others, Brett did not know exactly what he wished to do, but he knew that he wanted to make money and make a difference. With these ambitions in mind, Brett started out working alongside a physical therapist. However, he feared that time was against him and felt the pressure to advance that we’re all too familiar with. With the weight of the world on his shoulders, Brett made his first career shift.

Brett found and accepted a lucrative position at a contracting company, where he successfully provided project estimates. However, Brett soon worried that he helped no one but himself. As his schedule became increasingly mundane, he recognized that something was missing. While Brett worked in contracting, he dreamed of transitioning back to a medical field. He desperately craved work that served his genuine desire to help others, but he had serious concerns about any further change and returning to school. Brett knew he was not satisfied, but he felt secure in his routine job. The expense of most medical programs, in money and time, was higher than he could afford.

By chance, in speaking to some acquaintances, Brett heard about an option he never knew existed. He discovered Intraoperative Neuromonitoring (IONM), a fulfilling field that actually sounded realistic and profitable. IONM is a rapidly growing area of healthcare that revolves around reducing patients’ risk of deficits from operations. Brett found it was a career that he could both enjoy and afford to go back to school for. As he required the safety of job opportunities and always felt passionate about direct patient care, IONM seemed like a perfect fit for him.

In researching the field of IONM, Brett discovered CEN’s Introduction to IONM program, where he had the opportunity to participate in live surgeries and experience the work firsthand — all for less than the cost of one semester of schooling.  Brett took a leap of faith and returned to the world of healthcare, where he found a job immediately upon CEN graduation. This life-saving field saved Brett in a way that you might not expect; it gave him the sense of purpose we all require.

Now, Brett uses IONM to make a difference in patients’ lives every day as a surgical neurophysiologist (SNP) with Neuro Alert, and he has already won SNP of the Quarter.


“I think the best part of the program is that it costs less than one semester of schooling.”

Justin was a student at Queens College studying media arts when he heard positive comments about CEN’s IONM program from several students. Justin believes that CEN is a perfect roadmap for those who wish to pursue a career that involves direct patient care. He says he learned more than he could have imagined during his time in the program and that he truly feels the direct impact he is making on people’s lives working for Neuro Alert.

Justin is currently fulfilling a unique and much needed role at Neuro Alert by covering surgeries from Thursday to Monday. When he is not at the hospital, he is working on projects that will advance an important data science project related to the efficacy of neuromonitoring.

In his free time, Justin enjoys watching sports, exercising and hiking.