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From caregiver to RN, a profile of a BrightStar Care nurse’s career journey

Amelia Williams, RN for BrightStar Care of South West Fort Worth / Burleson, TXIn honor of National Nurses Week (May 6 – 12, 2017), we want to introduce you to BrightStar Care Registered Nurse Amelia Williams. She started with BrightStar Care as a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA), and with the support of her family and her BrightStar Care mentor went back to school to become a Registered Nurse.

For Amelia Williams, being a nurse means more than the day-to-day care. “It’s about creating relationships and getting that one-on-one experience, that time to hear their stories.” Amelia started with BrightStar Care of South West Fort Worth / Burleson (Texas) in 2012 as a CNA, and then went back to school to become a Registered Nurse.

A Life’s Passion At Work

“When I was a teenager, my grandparents had dementia,” said Amelia. “We have a really big family, so all the aunts would take turns taking care of them. When it was my mom’s turn, I would go with her and help with anything from meal prep to showering. I just remember thinking, ‘Wow, this is something I’m good at!’ And just ever since then I knew that healthcare was what I would go into.”

After graduating from high school, Amelia got her CNA license and worked in a nursing home. “I felt like I was lost in the crowd a bit and never really appreciated.” After moving to a new location, she came across an opportunity with BrightStar Care as a caregiver. “I had always been interested in BrightStar Care and home health, so it was meant to be.” As a caregiver, Amelia particularly enjoyed the one-on-one time with clients. “I just wanted to be there for them, and let them know they can trust and rely on me.”

Taking It To The Next Level

Having developed caregiver experience and relationships with her clients, Amelia started looking ahead to what was next. Her colleague and mentor Jennifer Rine BSN, RN — the Director of Nursing for the agency and the 2017 BrightStar Care National Nurse of the Year — played a role in that decision. “Just working with Jennifer made me want to become a nurse. And I realized I wanted to be the kind of nurse they could all be proud of.”

Going back to school was tough, but Amelia gives a lot of credit to her BrightStar Care community. “BrightStar Care helped me when I decided to go back to school. They worked with me, were flexible with my schedule when I prepared for exams, Jennifer was always there when I had questions, and they were so incredibly supportive and encouraging through the whole process. All of that just made me work harder.” For current and future nursing students, Amelia advises, “surrounding yourself with people who can give you good vibes is important. And don’t forget to make time for yourself!”

Now graduated and working as a Registered Nurse, Amelia says it is important to keep learning every day. Whether it is researching new medication administration techniques or trying different methods of senior care, she likes to stay ahead of the trends and go the extra mile to keep her clients educated. “I’m not the kind of person who’s going to stop. I’m going to keep going, and one day go back to get my master’s degree.”

All In The Family

Amelia puts her clients first, but always makes time for her family. “They are the ones who inspire me and have been there for me. Every time I was down in the dumps I just remembered ‘okay, I just want to be somebody they’re proud of’ and it’s always kept me going.”

Amelia’s husband has played a big part in helping her reach her nursing career goals. From flashcard study sessions to practicing care techniques, he always encouraged her to continue doing what she loves. “He’s been there for me since the beginning.” The couple has known each other since high school, and have a young son. “My son motivates me to be a strong female influence. I’ll always remember walking across the stage at my graduation when I was eight months pregnant with him!”

Connecting and Growing

Throughout her career with BrightStar Care, Amelia noted that building relationships with her clients is key. “Finding a good connection is important,” said Amelia, who has worked with close to 100 different clients as either caregiver or nurse. “One family I worked with as a caregiver told me every day how much they appreciated me and that was such an amazing feeling.”

Additionally, the friendships made with other BrightStar Care nurses played a role in her career growth. “One of my favorite parts of being a nurse is working with Jennifer,” said Amelia. “She’s been so patient with me and was always willing to train me as a new nurse. Because of her, I feel prepared at all times.”

In honor of National Nurses Week, Amelia reflected on everyone who has helped her get to where she is today. “Being a nurse is the greatest job in the world,” Amelia said. “A lot of the time they go unrecognized, and I just want everybody to stop and say thank you to a nurse because they’re so important.”

Learn more about working for BrightStar Care and apply at a local office near you.

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