Passion to Help Disenfranchised Leads to New Career in Nursing

Apr. 19, 2013 - by Carol Best

Helping Others Motivates Nursing Student

April 19, 2013
Graciela Stanley

When Graciela Stanley was growing up in Overland Park, Kan., and then in Costa Rica for 10 years, she never thought about a career in nursing, but she is glad that her life’s path has now brought her to MNU’s accelerated Bachelor of Science in nursing program (ABSN).

Stanley returned to the U.S. at 15 and graduated from Shawnee Mission South High School and then the University of Kansas with a degree in journalism in 2002. Her father is in the oil business, and her parents have lived in many places around the world. So with a multi-cultural background, right after college she began traveling the world as a backpacker and then came back to Kansas City, where she became a Spanish interpreter.

“I walked in to Truman Medical Center at the encouragement of a friend who said they needed interpreters. They gave me an assessment and I was working there a week later,” she said. “That was the first time I was exposed to a medical center. I hated hospitals before that, but I loved that job and worked full time as a medical interpreter there.”

The job took her all over the hospital. “I was in the maternity section, then down in the emergency room, then with someone receiving chemotherapy. It was a fast-paced and meaningful job.”

After that job she became an interpreter in a court setting, which had greater flexibility and more pay that also enabled her to travel. But she then began to think of a career change.  “As an interpreter you’re just a voice-box. Sometimes you want to be a greater part of what is going on, but you’re just there to facilitate.”

Nursing came to mind. “I never saw myself as a nurse previously, but I thought back to my time at Truman, and I also wanted a job that I could do anywhere in the world. My husband is French. I’ve been married a year and a half, and we’ll probably never stop moving. And nursing is a flexible job. You can do so much with it.”

Stanley, 33, speaks French also, making her a tri-lingual nursing student with perhaps an advantage in being hired where her language skills can be used. “I think the Spanish will definitely be an asset because of the demographics of America. The French will not be as useful, but the Spanish may give me a competitive edge. Just based on my personal experience, it does not seem like there are many Spanish-speaking nurses, and even fewer doctors.”

Stanley says she has a passion to serve disenfranchised people. “Especially those who have been forgotten or just don’t have the means to live the kind of life we have in developed countries,” she said. “I think traveling helped me develop that passion. I would be interested in working with Doctors Without Borders, or the Red Cross, or even Veterans Administration hospitals.”

The one-year accelerated nursing program has been academically challenging, but enjoyable, Stanley said. She began in January. “It’s the hardest thing I’ve ever done. I’m learning a lot. I can’t believe how much I’ve learned.” The program is arranged in class modules every seven weeks. She is currently studying pharmacology, patho-physiology, Concepts of Care, and gerontology. She will have her first hospital rotation in May, and do a total of six clinical placements in the program.

She is not sure yet which nursing field she wants to pursue. “Labor and delivery, and ER sound interesting to me, but I’m not sure yet. I’m hoping my studies and experienced this year will help me decide.”

Stanley has also enjoyed meeting the varied students in her program. “They are such smart, competent, motivated people,” she said. “There are people from Africa, and from medical backgrounds, and I think there are about eight men out of the 47 students, and most people are doing this as a second career. They range in age from about 21 to about 52.”

Stanley is one of only a few MNU accelerated Bachelor of Science in nursing (ABSN) students this year to receive the $10,000 in a New Career in Nursing (NCIN) scholarship from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) at MNU. The scholarship exists to address the nationwide nursing shortage and promote diversity within the field. MNU is one of about 50 select institutions nationwide to receive the funding.

“That scholarship has been a godsend to help with tuition,” she said. “I am Hispanic, and the scholarships are given to help minorities get into the field.”

The funding supports students in the program who are traditionally underrepresented in the field of nursing. The NCIN Scholarship Program was launched in 2008 by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) and the American Association of Colleges of Nursing to address the national nursing shortage, develop a diverse professional nursing workforce, and fuel the pipeline of nurse faculty and leaders.

For more information on MNU nursing programs, visit www.mnu.edu/nursing. For information about RWJF-NCIN scholarships, see www.newcareersinnursing.org.

apply-banner-300

Fill out our free online application and advance your career!

Apply Nowinfo-banner-300
There is no form with this name or may be the form is unpublished, Please check the form and the url and the form management.
 

MNU News

Saturday, August 19
Recent News
List
Grid
Archives
JK Warrick photo credit JimSmith
Dr. JK Warrick to Serve at MNU as Special Counsel

Dr. JK Warrick to Serve at MNU as Special Counsel

Dr. J.K. Warrick has been appointed special counsel to the president for the 2017-18 academic year. President David Spittal, made the announcement…

Read More
CareerLife Calling
Expansion of Mentoring Program to Serve All Majors

Expansion of Mentoring Program to Serve All Majors

More career-focused opportunities for juniors at MNU will launch this fall with a newly expanded mentoring program. Built on the positive impact of…

Read More
Kassidy Chuning headshot resized
Alum Finds New Perspectives, New Growth

Alum Finds New Perspectives, New Growth

Kassidy (Ritchel ’14) Chuning worked hard and played hard.  During high school, she played basketball and volleyball while maintaining a coveted GPA. Strong family values were woven into the…

Read More
Aaron Tiffany w guitar
Business Major Answers the Call

Business Major Answers the Call

Aaron Tiffany (Business Administration, ’05) isn’t exactly where he thought he’d be after graduation from MNU. Or actually, he is. “Going in to college I didn't know what I wanted to…

Read More
Sunberg Named GS
Alum Named 43rd General Superintendent

Alum Named 43rd General Superintendent

MNU Alumnus, Dr. Carla (Johnson ’83) Sunberg, was elected the 43rd General Superintendent of the Church of the Nazarene June 27, at the denomination’s General Assembly in Indianapolis, Indiana.…

Read More
Jason Heidi Menard
Driven to Succeed: Alum Taps into Hard Work, Passion, and Energy

Driven to Succeed: Alum Taps into Hard Work, Passion, and Energy

Some people might say that alum Jason Menard, just 7 years out of MNU, is too young to be a high school assistant principal and athletic director.…

Read More
Stowe in China
MNU Professor Selected for Prestigious Fellowship

MNU Professor Selected for Prestigious Fellowship

The U.S. Department of State announced the selection of Ramona Stowe of MidAmerica Nazarene University (MNU) for a 10-month fellowship project…

Read More
PrayerWalk2016-74
Visit MNU Exhibit at GA2017

Visit MNU Exhibit at GA2017

If you’re attending The Church of the Nazarene General Assembly or any of the associated conventions June 21 to June 29, 2017, in Indianapolis, Indiana, be sure to stop by the MNU exhibits.…

Read More
mnugrad-004
MNU Mourns Passing of Former President Ed Robinson

MNU Mourns Passing of Former President Ed Robinson

Dr. Edwin H. Robinson, fourth president of MidAmerica Nazarene University, went home to be with the Lord on Saturday, May 27, 2017. Dr. Ed, as he was…

Read More
Sports
Pioneers Fall in Opener

Pioneers Fall in Opener

#25 WSOC vs. #11 Westmont | L 0-5

 
MNU Cross County and Track & Field Announce 2017 Signing Class

MNU Cross County and Track & Field Announce 2017 Signing Class

MNU Cross Country and Track & Field are prepped for another great season...

 
MNU Finishes Top-30 in Learfield Directors' Cup

MNU Finishes Top-30 in Learfield Directors' Cup

After a successful 2016-17 season which saw several Pioneer squads qualify for Nationals, MNU ranked 27th in the NAIA and 2nd in the Heart in the Directors' Cup...

 
Latest Photos
MNU Commencement 2017 Professional & Graduate Studies Commencement
MNU Commencement 2017 Professional & Graduate Studies Commencement
MNU Commencement 2017 Professional & Graduate Studies Commencement
MNU Commencement 2017 Professional & Graduate Studies Commencement
MNU Commencement 2017 Professional & Graduate Studies Commencement
MNU Commencement 2017 Professional & Graduate Studies Commencement