I remember living in Newport News, Virginia in the summertime at the age of 14 years old. I volunteered as a candy striper in a nursing home, combing the elderly resident’s hair, painting their nails, filling up ice pitchers, reading to them and attending activities with them. It was at that nursing home where the seed was planted for me to take care of people. With that seed planted, moving to Houston, Texas, I became close to my grandmother who worked as an LVN at the old Veteran’s Hospital in the 70’s.
I used to watch her iron her all white nursing dresses and pants for work, including using white shoe polish to shine her all white SAS shoes. That image of her never left me and has been implanted in me still to this day long after she passed away when I was 19 years old.
That seed began to manifest in me so greatly that I worked odds and ends jobs and paid my tuition at San Jacinto Community College in Houston, Texas in 2003, enrolling and graduating from their LVN (Licensed Vocational Nurse) nursing program.
It was as an LVN that I was introduced to mental health. I worked in Intracare Hospital in Houston, Texas helping other LVNs, Registered Nurses, psychiatrists, psychologists (some of the top) to take care of mentally ill patients that ranged from 6 years old and up. I gained experience working with children, adolescent boys and girls and adults suffering from various mental illnesses. It was there that a lovely angel (a registered nurse), placed another seed in me telling me how important it is to continue my education and thanked me for a job well done working alongside her taking care of the mentally ill population.
From there, that seed manifested and grew where I received a job at the Veterans Hospital in Houston, Texas taking care of our nation’s heroes suffering from mental illness. With the thought of that seed, I went back to school and became a Registered Nurse with an associates degree. I then realized that GOD had a plan for me that I could have never imagine. From there, I went back to school to become a Registered Nurse with a baccalaureate degree. That seed kept growing with GOD pushing me higher as I went back to school again and became what I am today as a Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner, Board Certified Master’s Prepared.