Sherry and daughter Jessica
I guess you could say that my family has "the nursing gene.”
As early as I can remember, I have the image of my mom in scrubs with a stethoscope around her neck. My mom was greatly influenced by her grandmother who held an active nursing license for over 50 years. Now my sister Heather (a NICU Care Partner at Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt), my brother Robert (a nursing major at Chattanooga State), and I are all following in her footsteps by pursuing a nursing career for our own personal reasons, however, none more prevalent than the influence of our mom.
My mom began her career as a CNT. She worked full-time to put herself through nursing school and she was the first and only member of her immediate family to graduate from college. This fact alone has provided me with great motivation as I struggle to find the perseverance to take on such challenges! Throughout her twenty-some-odd years in nursing, my mom has worked in different areas of nursing from critical to cardiology. She was attracted to Vanderbilt because of its prestige and dedication to research. In her role at Vanderbilt as a Cardiovascular Research Nurse, she coordinates multiple research studies including a major study in cardiovascular bone marrow stem cell research.
She has always found a balance between work and home. She and my father have worked my entire life to provide my siblings and me with the best education while instilling in us the value of hard work and the importance of family. I remember beginning my career here at Vanderbilt and being so excited to work so closely to nurses like my mom. My mom is still the ultimate measure in what it means to be a good nurse and I often call her for advice. I have found that the quintessential "Vanderbilt" nurse is not at all unlike my mom; diligent, hard working, dedicated, compassionate, and fierce!
So as my sister and I work to continue our family's nursing legacy, our mom continues to raise the bar. Day in and day out, she smiles her incredible smile as nursing runs through her blood and never leaves her. Whether in the hospital, at home, or as the first responder in a medical emergency on her day off, my mom is always a nurse. This, I feel, has made her the wonderful mother, wife, and a friend that she is and vice-versa. Vanderbilt is lucky to have her, as am I, and we as a family are lucky to have Vanderbilt so that we may see each other grow in our careers and share in the great benefits there are to being involved in such an excellent place of work.
I felt compelled to write this after recent discussions with my mom about the beauty and strength in nursing, and I feel that she epitomizes just that.
Care Partner and Nursing Student
Vanderbilt University Hospital Burn Unit
My grandmother was my inspiration as she had an active nursing license for 50 years. I would sit on her bed and watch her polish her shoes and starch and iron her uniform dress and cap.
I work full time in cardiovascular bone marrow stem cell research. I am now the Lead Study Coordinator in Cardiovascular Medicine. I come to work every day because of the exciting and innovating opportunities we offer patients who would normally not have this opportunity for this standard of care. I am surrounded by knowledgeable and motivated people who teach me something new every day - even at my age! I love people and I love helping people.
Outside of work, I love reading, camping and spending time with my family. I have been married for nearly two and a half decades and have four children who I am very proud of. I have two grandchildren who are absolutely gorgeous, and another grandchild on the way! I am truly a fortunate woman. Family and God are my priorities and I am very blessed to be able to do the work I do.
Sherry, RN, CCRP
Cardiovascular Research Nurse II
Vanderbilt Heart and Vascular Institute