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"The miracle of witnessing birth never loses its magic"

When Malia Greene visited Sweden in the spring of 2002 and “shadowed” Lisbeth, a nurse and family friend in the NICU unit, she was “taken” with a small infant born on Christmas Day. The baby, born two months premature, was energetic and literally fighting for her life. Malia also witnessed the compassion and pure enjoyment Lisbeth displayed while caring for the infant.

Two things happened to Malia that day: she realized right then that nursing was her calling and she wanted to work with infants. “I came home from that experience with a renewed sense of purpose,” says Malia.

To achieve her goal, Malia worked full time and attended both Las Positas College in Livermore and Chabot College in Hayward to complete her prerequisites. She took chemistry and speech at Las Positas. At Chabot she took Microbiology and challenged anatomy as a prerequisite to physiology so those courses could be taken concurrently. Even Malia’s counselor questioned her sanity saying she had never seen anyone handling such a load before. Amazingly Malia maintained a 3.5 GPA.

After completing her prerequisites, she was accepted to Western University in Pomona to a Masters Entry Nursing program at a cost of $100,000. She also applied to Ohlone College’s nursing program but was told that she should look somewhere else because their program only accepted 30 students per semester. She was tenth on Ohlone College’s wait list and was quite surprised when she received a call for her to enroll. This was an opportunity she just couldn’t pass up. She will graduate May 2006.

“I learned an incredible work ethic from my parents,” says Malia. “They always gave me one hundred percent of whatever they decided to do,” she says, “and my Dad and Stepmother both work for Kaiser Permanente and they’ve always encouraged me toward the medical field.”

A neighbor and mentor, Mrs. Doris Rodin, practiced nursing for 50 years and Malia interviewed her for a school project. “I learned about her life and how much the nursing world had changed, says Malia, “and she has always been there for me giving me pep talks along the way.”

Malia’s dream is to be a Labor and Delivery nurse and eventually become a Nurse Practitioner or a mid-wife. “The miracle of witnessing birth never loses its magic,” she beams. However, these are decisions that she will make later. She wants to make a difference with one patient at a time. For right now, she is content knowing there is a place for her in nursing.

Malia is currently working for Kaiser Permanente in Patient Care Services for the Early Start Program. She holds a BS Degree in Human Development from UC Davis.