Angela Turner knew what she wanted when she was a very young girl growing up in Little Rock. “I was nine years old when I told my mom I wanted to be a nurse,” she remarks fondly.
As soon as she was legally allowed, Angela joined our Baptist Health team in the main hospital as a candy striper at the age of 15, donning the iconic pink and white apron with pride. During that time, she had an experience that would solidify her connection to Baptist Health for the rest of her career.
There was a nurse on the 4th floor that took time to sit down with me at lunch. I wish I could give her credit for that. It made such a difference because she took the time to talk with me. I’ve tried to do that whenever I’ve had new people, whether it be students or new nurses, just because I remember how it is to be new. People who are scared and nervous won’t ask questions because they feel dumb, and then they’ll feel dumb because they should’ve asked questions—it’s a vicious cycle. I love teaching people and working with them.
After her candy striper days, Angela continued to intermittently pop in the door of Baptist Health, slowly circling her way to her permanent position.
I was a patient there. I delivered babies there. I went through school through Baptist as a Nurse’s Aide. I even worked in Dietary back in high school. I graduated from nursing school and started in Critical Care in 2000 and also worked in CPRU around that time. I know Baptist and I like Baptist. I’ve been affiliated with them for so long I just wouldn’t feel comfortable somewhere else.
When Angela got married and became a mother, she made the choice to stay home and raise her children. However, we at Baptist Health were still there for her when she returned to the workforce years later, ready to pick up where they left off:
I call nursing my second career, since staying at home with the kiddos was my first job. I stayed with them until my youngest started kindergarten, and then I started doing my prerequisites for nursing school. When I actually started school, I worked on the floor as a part-time Nurses’ Aide, and it was challenging to balance my kids and my husband, but I knew it would be worth it.
Our employees at Baptist Health are encouraged to learn as much as they can. We as a company are here to help you reach your potential, whatever that may be, and we’ve incorporated programs to facilitate that progression.
I went back to school two years ago to get my bachelor’s, which I never thought I would do, and I’m hoping to get my master’s soon. Baptist is very supportive. They want you to get as much education as you can get. They pay you for just about all of it—I think I was out maybe $150 for my Bachelor’s. It’s amazing. They have tuition reimbursement. I don’t know if I’ll do Education or Hospital Administration for my Master’s, but it’ll be one of those two.
Now that Angela has successfully graduated from nursing school, she works as an Administrative RN III at the very same hospital she’s been volunteering at since her early teens.
I do payroll and help with RN III with scheduling. I also prep patients, so I’m still at the bedside. I prep patients in the mornings; you know, checking their IVs and giving medication, checking in with their doctors and making sure they’ve done all their duties. I also remember that it’s the patient’s first time going through everything They don’t do it every day, so sometimes they feel nervous because they are worried about something that the rest of us think is minor.
Take it from an experience Baptist Health employee; we’ve seen it all, so we’re here to help smooth over the entire experience for our patients.
I always remember that they don’t do this every day, and it’s okay to be scared. I like to reassure them and say, ‘Don’t worry, this is my job.’ Talking with them about their job and what they do can help. I’m very happy to be a nurse and have this opportunity.
It may take some time to achieve your dream, but not everyone is on the same schedule. Our team knows this and welcomes anyone who has a passion for healing and the know-how to succeed.
Consider our career page and see if we can help you start your own second career.