As a young child, I always had the desire to be of service to others because it was instilled in me. I can remember volunteering in the community with my aunt. My aunt, along with other women in the community, formed a small community service organization called the De Ville Ladies. I genuinely enjoyed being able to give my time to those in need. This is how I knew that healthcare would be the field that I would choose for my career path at a very young age. Another one of my aunts, who ironically was a registered nurse, had the unfortunate diagnosis of myasthenia gravis. At the age of 14 years old I was responsible for cleaning her tracheostomy tube, helping her with her hygiene and toileting, as well as being of assistance to her physical therapist during her in-home therapy sessions. Initially, I thought I would be a physician but as time passed, it was evident that a career in Nursing better suited me. I aspired to have hands-on experience with patients and focus more on the caring aspect of their care.
Throughout my life I have endured multiple deaths of immediate family members. As opposed to wallowing in sorrow, I made the conscious decision to turn my pain into purpose. My mother passed away when my twin brother and I were 6 years old on March 16, 1988 due to metastatic breast carcinoma. Her sister, who was already a single parent of her daughter, reared my twin brother and I as if we were her own. I thought oncology would be the specialty that I would work in; however, it was clearly evident that I would not have been able to emotionally or mentally endure the inevitable demise that comes with many cancer diagnoses. When I enrolled into nursing school, I had no idea what specialty I wanted to choose. I enjoyed my clinical experiences, but I LOVED the Labor & Delivery (L&D) clinical rotation. I was encouraged by my instructor not to choose a specialty area as my first unit directly after graduating. My instructor recommended that I work on a Medical-Surgical unit. As opposed to following her advice, I chose to work on a Telemetry-Step Down ICU floor. I knew ultimately I would transfer to L&D, but I knew that not all pregnant women are healthy. I wanted to have a solid foundation on a high acuity unit to better prepare myself for L&D. After 1 year on Telemetry-Step Down ICU, I transferred to L&D.
As an L&D nurse I flourished. I enjoyed every moment of being an L&D nurse. My husband and I got married in June 2005, just before I graduated from nursing school. We are both planners and made the decision to not try to conceive for the first 5 years of our marriage to have time to enjoy one another. How many of you know that God laughs at our plans? After about 3 years of marriage, we decided to begin trying to conceive. I could have never predicted what we endured on this trying to conceive journey. We have had 3 spontaneous miscarriages, a stillborn daughter at 24 weeks and 2 days gestation, 3 ectopic pregnancies, and our 8th pregnancy was our only live birth, our fraternal twin boys. We conceived 6 of those 8 pregnancies with one fallopian tube since my first pregnancy was a ruptured ectopic. This was one of my lowest, darkest times. I prayed and cried so much begging God to bless us with a child that we could bring home. I made a deal with God. I promised Him that if He allowed me to be a mother to a child that we could bring home, I would go back to school to earn my Master’s degree in Nursing with a specialty in Women’s Health care so that I could be a blessing to those women who would unfortunately experience my same hardships. I promised that I would use the personal lessons I had learned about grief as it relates to fertility to be of service to women so that they could know they are not alone. God kept His promise and so did I. Our twin boys were born in May 2010 and I started the MSN program at NSULA in January 2013.
I have always wanted to obtain the highest degree in my chosen career. Although I adamantly refused anytime someone inquired if I would go on to earn my Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree…here I am. It is my purpose in life to be of service and encouragement to the patients God has given me the opportunity to care for. As I continue in the DNP program, I pray that I am equipped with the knowledge needed to better serve the public. I endeavor to develop leadership qualities that will positively impact the healthcare system.