When I went to college I knew I wanted to pursue healthcare, but I wasn’t quite sure what that meant for me. As an eager freshman at the club fair, I joined a club called the Global Medical Brigades-a college organization that funded medical mission trips to Honduras. My first experience in Honduras was amazing and I eagerly joined the club as the president the subsequent year.
Leading a group of 20 students and healthcare professionals was exhilarating. Providing frontline care to underserved patients in this rural community was a memorable experience, and my AHA moment. From that day, I knew I wanted to provide patient care, and that this would not be my last mission trip. I decided to do my nursing pre-requisites and continue pursuing my BA in dance. I decided on a second bachelors to pursue nursing post graduation. Let’s just say life happened and I didn’t feel like my gpa was competitive and 14 months of school didn’t sound so appealing. I continued to teach dance and work at my non-profit.
I decided health policy and healthcare management were of great interest to me. I still had my patient care itch and applied to a grant funded EMT program at my community college. As a compliment to my success, I was offered a grant funded seat in the paramedic program. Although, it was not in the plan, who could pass up $10,000 worth of free eduction. It was a grueling 13 months of clinical, skills lab, and lecture. I was simultaneously taking MPH grad courses at my alma mater. I then started working as a paramedic and I was content that was enough patient care for me and I could continue to pursue my healthcare policy aspirations. I begin to look for entry level healthcare management positions. I was hired as a patient transport supervisor in a busy level 1 trauma center. This experience was invaluable and I realized that I loved to lead. I then went on to become an assistant manager at an urgent care center.
Although, I was thriving in my leadership roles and getting promotions something was missing. I missed providing patient care. I became Manager of Patient Transport which is my current role. I quickly met so many awesome nurses in clinical and non clinical roles at my new organization. This was so inspiring and I reminded myself that I could do both. I could be a kick a** girlboss and pursue a patient care role.I did not have to choose. I could combine my love for patient care and leadership of frontline staff. I anxiously started researching nursing programs.
At this point, I have been out of college for 7 years, and I was nervous about some of my prerequisites still being valid. Thankfully, all of my credits transferred and I was able to apply to the nursing program. I only had to take one math class and the NLN. I got in on my first try, and my job offers tuition reimbursement to cover the entire cost . The timing could not have been better, and I am so excited I reignited this journey. I surely took the scenic route, but all of my stops along the way prepared me for this moment, and I never lost sight of my destination.