Mother of Five Excels as Student
Carrie Baldwin is a mother of five, full-time CNA, Phi Theta Kappa Scholar Laureate nominee and full-time student. Growing up in a farming community in Washington, she knew she wanted to be a nurse, but it wasn’t until a few years ago that she decided it was time to make that dream come true.
Carrie lives in Marsing, and enrolled at TVCC’s Caldwell Center, where she took her prerequisites for Nursing. Then, she was accepted into the nursing program. A member of the national honor society Phi Theta Kappa, she will graduate in June.
Before beginning the nursing program, Carrie was nominated by the national Phi Theta Kappa members to be a Scholar Laureate, and represent the group at a conference in South Africa. Carrie was unable to attend the conference, but the following year was again nominated to attend a conference, this time in Australia. The nursing delegation toured hospitals in Sydney and Brisbane, had lectures and classes on the Australian health care system and nursing in Australia, and visited the Museum of Diseased Human Tissue. The 7-day trip was “an amazing experience,” she said, and because of her inclusion in the delegation, she was invited to attend the 2017 Presidential Inauguration in Washington DC, but was unable to attend.
On the trip to Australia, Carrie and the rest of the group were able to learn about Aboriginal health care, and how the health care of the Aborigines in the country were in desperate need of health care. “They need nurses to go to the rural areas and provide health care,” she said. Each participant paid their own way, including airfare, food, travel, etc., while overseas. “I had help from friends and family, and nursing faculty,” to make the trip possible, she said.
Does she have any advice for people who are considering TVCC’s nursing program? “It takes a lot of determination. Just put one foot in front of the other, inch by inch. It’s a hard, demanding program, but I feel in my almost two years, and working in a hospital, I see a lot of new graduates from other schools. I have as much knowledge as some of the new grads, and I haven’t graduated. I feel prepared to go out and be a nurse.” She added that the TVCC nursing instructors “have been very supportive, and I probably wouldn’t have made it without some of them. I’ve gained a well-rounded education in the field of nursing. I feel like I could go into any discipline of nursing and be successful.”
Carrie says she hopes to work in an intensive care unit.
Since she’s been in school, Carrie said her husband has taken over many of the duties at home, including home schooling some of their children. “I tell my kids that you can go back to school at any time in your life. It doesn’t have to be right out of high school. You can do anything you want to do.”
She added, “It’s very rewarding to hear your kids tell you they’re proud of you. I tell them there’s never a time when you quit learning. I’ve shown my kids that anything is possible – anything you want to do is within reach.
“It’s never too late to follow your dreams.”