I started out by pursuing a dream I had since I was a sophomore in High School. After two years of Pharmacy school, I made the decision to change my major to nursing. The problem was, I didn’t want to “just” be a nurse. I didn’t want others to look down on me, and think all I did was place patients on bedpans and pass out pills. I considered medical school, looking at the top specialties… literally anything that would automatically give me elite occupational prestige — something I thought I needed to be accepted because I was black. “Just” being a black nurse, at first thought, seemed so inferior. It seemed like I was settling, as if I wasn’t smart enough to be something like a Doctor.

I worked in a group home while I did an internship at Walgreens. I enjoyed what I did in the group home more than what I did during my internship, more than what I was currently learning in class. The care, compassion and empathy came so easily to me, I knew what decision I needed to make.

It was tough, but once I stopped thinking about what others thought of me and stopped allowing their expectations to dictate how I should live my life, I was determined to be the best nurse I could be.

There was no need to rank high on the occupational status ladder, I instead wanted to rank high in my own self-worth.

I started this page because I have a huge desire to motivate and inspire others, especially those of color.  I spent too much of my life constantly proving myself because people didn’t see my color at work or in the classroom. They expected less of me, but I always gave more.

I can’t continue to hide or limit myself because of how others have treated me in the past due to my precious melanin, a characteristic I have no control over. I’m strong, intelligent and I have a world to change.

-Nurse Nelle