Nursing was a field that I never thought I would be interested in. My first degree was in Computer Science, and I had a successful career working a a software developer in the DC area. I was a consultant on government contract and had been granted my Top Secret security clearance, my job situation was stable and I enjoyed my work. When I found out that I was pregnant with my oldest son, I immediately knew that I wanted to take time off from work to stay home with him. Little did I know that four more kids would soon follow and my interest in computer programming would not be as strong as it had been.
During the time I spent at home raising my children I became more and more interested in childbirth. I started teaching childbirth education classes and served as a doula for many years. I then began working for my midwife as her assistant. During that time I had considered going to nursing school, but the process always seemed like it was more than my family could handle at the time. For some reason, when my youngest daughter was a few months old the time suddenly seemed right, and I began my prerequisite work with the intention of going to nursing school part time at the local community college.
The primary factor in selecting to complete my nursing education at UB was the reputation that the school help in the community. Working as a doula meant that I spent many nights in the Labor and Delivery units of all the local hospitals. I asked many nurses and midwives for advice on where to go to school, and the clear message that I heard was that graduate nurses from UB are more likely to get hired into difficult placements (like Labor and Delivery). Because I had spent the last 10 years of my life working in the field of childbirth, I knew that was the career I wanted. So, I declined my acceptance offer from another local school and enrolled in the remaining courses that I needed to complete in order to apply to UB.
Serving families that are going through the birth process has been my passion for the last 10 years. It is different than any other field in nursing because, for the most part, you are helping with a completely normal physiologic process. Giving birth is the only time you go to the hospital because everything is working correctly, and I loved being a part of that. Of course, there are times when medical intervention is required, and I found it fascinating to watch the different care providers each bring their own judgement and personality to the labor room.
I really had a unique perspective during that time, I was teaching childbirth classes, attending births as a doula, and having children myself. I was able to interact with so many families and appreciate so many different perspectives that it helped me understand more about the birthing process and the ways to support these families.
My husband and I run a small farm in Clarence Center where we raise grass-fed animals. We set up shop at the Farmer’s market in Williamsville each weekend and get to spend our time talking to customers and interacting in the community. I have said many times that we have the best jobs – feeding families and helping babies being born. It is hard to picture a better combination than that!
I hope to continue on from UB SON and pursue a degree in Midwifery.
This scholarship has already had an enourmous impact on our family. In order for me to attend a program as accelerated as this program we had to become a single-income family. With five kids and a farm to take care of, that was an intimidating thought. When I received the award letter in the mail it was a moment of surprise and gratitude. The financial flexibility provided by receiving the Helene Fuld Health Trust allows me to devote myself to my studies and be prepared to hit the ground running as a start my nursing career.