Tell us about yourself and your academic journey!
I am a proud Hispanic American woman whose life and career path were influenced greatly by women such as my grandmother Claudina (Nina) from my maternal side. Nina was the village midwife by necessity because most women were not able to afford to deliver their babies at a hospital, and her services were free. She grew up on a farm with twelve brothers, started working on the family farm at a young age, had her first child at the age of fourteen and had a total of twelve children. She became a very skilled midwife and was able to successfully deliver many complex cases without the assistance of modern medicine or state of the art medical facilities. Nina was a woman of courage and compassion and a role model for many, especially women. Her positive outlook on life and belief that everything is possible with God’s help sustained her until she passed away in her late 90’s.
I believe that my inspiration for working in the health care industry came from growing up around strong women such as my grandmother. Seeing her do so much in her community without a formal education inspired me to go further in my nursing career so I could serve others just like she did. At the age of fifteen, I immigrated to the US from El Salvador and joined my parents in search of a better life. When I arrived in America, I was thrown into a world I could never have imagined – I started attending school but was unable to speak English and struggled with culture shock. I worked hard and resolved to overcome my challenges so I would be able to make a difference in my community.
While attending high school I had to juggle the requirements of my education with the demands of a job because I was expected to contribute to the family income. I feared that I was facing the same future I left behind in my native home. I worked hard and graduated from high school in just three years. I was the first woman in my family to achieve that milestone, but the prospects for continuing my education were limited. I married at the age of nineteen and by twenty-one, I had two daughters. I was still simply surviving and wanted a better future for my myself and my family. I knew that continuing my education was the only way to break the family history of women in poverty who were unable to obtain an education. With the support of my husband and community, I began the long journey of self-discovery and education. I obtained my LPN license, later my RN degree, BSN degree at UW-Bothell and recently completed an MHA degree from the University of Washington. As the Assistant Nurse Manager for Inpatient General Surgery & Joint/Spine Center, I have the opportunity to continue touching people’s lives as my grandmother did.
Share a memorable course and what you liked about it.
One of my memorable courses from my BSN program, was Population Health. I gained greater knowledge regarding disparities that low social economic status individuals encounter within the health care system.
Is there anything else you would like to share with us?
I enjoyed attending UW-Bothell and the BSN program as a whole. The instructors made themselves available as well as encouraged me to continue my education journey and to pursue a master's or PHD.