Realizing a dream and family legacy.
As a child, it was always a dream to become a nurse. My mother and maternal grandmother are two of my greatest motivational factors. My late grandmother was a registered nurse, and my mother has been one for the past 32 years. The feeling is truly rewarding to witness the many lives that are impacted. Reminiscing, it was an indescribable experience to get a glimpse at what the profession entails. Although I have finally obtained my Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN), I persevered through several obstacles to become the nurse that I am today.
During my freshman year of college, my grandmother suffered from a hemorrhagic stroke and eventually regained consciousness after being in a coma for two weeks. In 2011, I obtained a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology with a minor in chemistry from Texas Southern University. During my third semester in a nursing program in 2014, my grandmother succumbed to a rare cancer, Mucinous Adenocarcinoma. This was the only period in my life that my desire for nursing was questioned.
After putting my pursuit for nursing on hold, I ran into an old classmate that convinced me to look at College of the Mainland’s nursing program and reconsider. It was the best decision that I could have ever made. I scheduled an appointment with an academic advisor and received pertinent information regarding the admissions process. Upon arriving to the administration building, I was greeted with warm welcomes and friendly smiles throughout campus. After applying, I was granted the opportunity to enroll in the nursing program the following semester as a transfer student. College of the Mainland is a prestigious institution and always exhibited their core values such as mutual respect, diversity, inclusiveness and innovation. The faculty members were phenomenal, and students were embraced as if they were family. A variety of tutorial services were offered to ensure success in each course. Professors were willing to go the extra mile to remain accessible to provide resources which proved to be opposite of stigmas regarding nursing schools. The institution truly fostered a learning-centered, comprehensive community college that is dedicated to student success.
After receiving my Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) from COM in 2017, I relocated to Brownsville for an amazing opportunity to make an impact in an underserved community and provide educational awareness regarding chronic illnesses that are prevalent in the Rio Grande region. Working in the Intensive Care Unit has equipped me with the fundamental guidance that is pivotal to a patient’s survival and strengthening communities. The field of nursing is intriguing, and it is astounding how COM’s institution prepares you to not only become a successful registered nurse, but they truly instill fundamentals that are everlastingly memorable and invaluable. I am committed to expanding my proficiency, remaining innovative with the latest industry knowledge and giving back to the community.
In December 2018 while employed full time, I graduated with my Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) from the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston. Throughout my daily nursing actions, the core values of COM are always implemented: respect, innovation, integrity, collaboration and accountability.
My grandmother’s death allowed my passion to amplify, and that is why I chose to create the JoAnna Bradford Memorial Nursing Scholarship to assist other students. During my spare time, I provide mentorship to undergraduates and nursing students which helps augment academic performance and increase enrollment retention and on-time graduation. Currently, I am employed at MD Anderson Cancer Center as a registered nurse in the Intensive Care Unit. My ultimate ambition is to become a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist.
None of my achievements would be possible without God. I want to sincerely thank my parents, sisters, family and friends for always providing unconditional love and support. I am truly thankful for the knowledge and experience received at College of the Mainland. It is one of a kind!