Today, we’re sharing Patricia Reeves’ nursing journey. Patricia graduated from Aspen University’s Doctor of Nursing Practice program in January 2023, following her passion for education and sharing knowledge. Keep reading for Patricia’s story.
“Nursing was my first love since. At age five, while playing with matches, I survived third-degree burns and was hospitalized for over three months at a children’s hospital. The kindness I received from the nursing staff was amazing; I often assured my nurses that I would give it back one day and become a nurse myself. I never lost sight of that dream and upon graduation from high school, I pursued my BSN at Wayne State University. I gained a passion for education early in my career and after two years, went back and obtained my Master’s degree. As my career blossomed, I was fulfilled and felt academia was my calling. After working for four years as a clinical educator, my employer announced that they wanted all faculty to hold a doctorate degree, or actively start working on a doctoral degree. My dad encouraged me to continue my education and pursue my doctorate. However, returning to school was not in my cards at the time, and for the next several years I wandered in a wilderness of nursing, working as a home infusion nurse and in-home care; both jobs had a common denominator: educating clients. I took a temporary job teaching nursing assistants at an inner-city high school, and the educational bug was once again flowing in my blood.
As time passed, I felt like I had cheated myself by not at least attempting to apply to a doctorial program and enhance my academic skills to the fullest. My father was my biggest cheerleader and encouraged me with an old proverb: “Why settle for the silver, when you can have the gold?” Detours of life put my higher education on hold – raising my twins was my priority. My father passed away and while this left me more determined to fulfill my dreams of obtaining a doctorate in nursing, the timing was still not right.
I showed so much joy, enthusiasm, and love teaching nursing assistants, that my husband Steve encouraged me to start her own C.N.A. school. I opened the doors of Covenant Academy in February 2013 and it wasn’t long before Covenant became one of the premier nursing assistant training schools in Oakland County, holding a State Exam pass rate of 98.9%. My school was selected to partner with a local university and an area high school to train seniors wanting a career in health care.
When my daughter received her acceptance letter of admittance to a BSN program, that was a pivotal moment for me and I knew I had to complete what I started. I enrolled in Aspen University’s DNP program. I prayed I would be able to complete an online DNP program at a later stage in life. The first year was rough and when I received my first “D”, I felt defeated and wanted to quit. My father’s words came back to haunt me: “Don’t settle for silver; go for the gold”. I embraced my favorite scripture: “I can do ALL things through Christ who strengthens me.” I repeated the course and received an “A,” which motivated me to work harder, eventually graduating with distinction and as a member of Delta Epsilon Tau International Honors Society.
Aspen was a blessing in more than one way, and I formed friendships with seven wonderful women from all over the US. Weekly, we would meet on Zoom. We had a special bond with our mentor Dr. Rosenberg-Line; she was the glue that kept us encouraged, laughing, and staying on track. I personally know this journey would have had a different ending if I did not have her as my mentor.
I have a servant’s heart, mentoring students desiring to go into healthcare. I have a vast well of knowledge in education, curriculum development, and organizational leadership. I’m known as the community’s go-to person for charting the best path for nursing or healthcare education students. I remind my students to stay focused and committed and keep their circle of influence filled with like-minded folk. I experience joy when helping others plan their career goals and destinies in life, and I always pass on the saying from my father, “Why settle for silver when you can go for the gold?””