Since childhood, Ali F. was interested in the health field. She graduated college with a liberal arts degree and pursued a career in health prevention and education. Later, she earned a master’s degree in public health, focusing on maternal and infant health.
“I always had my eye on the clinical side of health care, specifically maternal and perinatal health.”
However, she felt her strengths and experience were in public health, and therefore that she needed to stay in that sector. But during this time, she also began assisting friends, and family, as an honorary doula, with childbirth.
“I felt the undeniable love I have of being by someone’s bedside,” she says.
It became obvious to her that her dream work would be in a clinical setting, with patients. She decided that Labor and Delivery Nursing was the career that would merge her prior work experiences with where she wanted her future career to be.
As a returning student, Ali researched every single step to becoming an RN, and mapped out her path for each semester.
“I kept that paper with me, crossing each step off as I completed it, until I became an RN. This helped me stay focused on my vision and the importance of each milestone.”
While Ali was a student in the program, she didn’t think that, as a recent graduate she could be a competitive candidate for Labor and Delivery, so she instead gained as much experience as she could during clinical rotations in emergency care, a specialty she also really liked, for its similar pace.
Strategically, Ali stayed open to all learning opportunities, while staying focused on her goal.
“In my mind, no job experience was a setback.”
A year later, Dominican opened a New Grad program and she felt very ready and capable.
“I applied and was accepted. It’s a dream come true. To be working in my local community, in labor and delivery, is the perfect spot for me.”
Yadhira O. took care of her mother when she had cancer, and her working with the oncology
nurses led to her desire to go into nursing herself. She had been working in the medical field as well but studied art in school. After taking care of her mom multiple times, and with the encouragement from friends and family, she believed “I can do this.”
While on the nursing wait list, she continued to care for her mom and dad, both of whom passed away during the wait.
She ultimately got into the program. However, it was just as everything was shutting down due to COVID. And Yadhira was also facing her own medical challenges. But she didn’t stop!
“Even with everything going on, I was determined to finish. In my first semester, it became even more clear to me this was my path. I found the instructors to be very supportive and I finished,” says Yadhira.
She was even asked to use her artwork for the nursing program and the logo on the Nursing Student Handbook is by her.
She graduated from the program and just finished her BSN degree at CSUMB. She’s working for a local hospital in Monterey. She found support and help from the Cabrillo instructors even after graduation. She learned the relationships built during her nursing studies were the strength of the program and still continue to be.