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A patient grabbing my hand and thanking me for taking care of them is all I need – I don’t want to leave the ward.


“You can do anything in nursing.”

The road to personal triumph has been very difficult for Vanessa. She has had to overcome personal barriers for as long as she can remember. As a child of substance abusers, she has learned to never take anything for granted.

Vanessa was 14 years old when she realized nursing would be the perfect career for her. But it was her grandmother who actually steered her towards her decision. She noticed that Vanessa gravitated toward anything that concerned the physical body in both books and on television. In high school, Vanessa studied biology and physiology. When a family member became ill, Vanessa spent a lot of time at the hospital. She remembers the nurses taking the time to talk with her and their caring demeanor. So when her grandmother came up with nursing as a career path, Vanessa couldn't believe she had not thought of it first.

As a nursing student at Golden West College, Vanessa knows that knowledge and skills are very important, but it’s the human side of the profession that has really been rewarding. Vanessa explains, “I fell in love with the ICU. I am so thankful for what I have achieved so far. It's not an easy job, but I get all the drive and satisfaction I need from my patients.”