How Her Mother’s Care in the Hospital Encouraged Nichelle Hines to Become A Registered Nurse Despite Facing Many Obstacles

Nichelle Hines is a registered nurse, mother, and child of God. Her mother died when she was only 12, leaving her behind, including 3 younger siblings, and maternal grandparents to care for them all (while also raising the remainder of a few of their 12 children still living at home). Growing up without her mother and not knowing her dad until age 25, Nichelle was faced with many challenges.

While attending Howard University, she discovered she was pregnant and gave birth to her daughter 10 days after her 19th birthday. She took off only one semester to care for her daughter. When she went back to school the following semester, she was also working full time, caring for her daughter, and also helping to care for her immobile grandfather who was ill. Nichelle had many sleepless nights, which made it difficult to study, and as a result, her grades were dropping. Having to encounter all of this, she later encountered a nervous breakdown on campus in her vehicle. On this day, she could recall staying in her vehicle during the entire time that she was scheduled for classes. It was that day that she left Howard University and went to work full time. But, her dream never went away because about four years later, she went back to school to accomplish her most challenging goal, becoming a registered nurse.

Nichelle discovered she wanted to become a nurse when her mother took ill. She would frequent visits at the hospital and observed how the nurses would care for her mother. She described some not giving the best care. But, others were giving quality care, leaving Nichelle feeling good! It was then that she discovered her calling. She not only wanted to make her patients feel good, but also the family of the patients and to help them through the process of grieving.

Through all of these obstacles, she managed to graduate from UDC with an associate’s degree in Science and Nursing. She passed her state board exam after having to answer only 75 out of 265 questions!  A test that could take up to 6 hours, only took her 30 minutes! Nichelle also continued her education and earned her Bachelor’s of Science and Nursing. After 1.5 years as a nurse in a pediatric ER, she applied and received the Educator position in her unit.

Nichelle is now responsible for training all the staff in her department. With her experience, years ago, visiting her mother in the hospital, she stands firm to what she believed in, making others feel good, even during difficult times. She trains all her staff to care for the children (patients) as if they were their own children or family. She also teaches the staff how to be empathetic and how to help them through the grieving process if the family receives devastating news.

Nichelle Hines became certified in her field in 2017 earning a CPEN (Certified Pediatric Emergency Nurse). She now has a goal to further her education and obtain a Master’s of Science and Nursing in Education. She also went back to UDC to tutor aspiring nurses, and everyone who she tutored passed the state board exam! In addition, Nichelle and a few colleagues have gone back to the school and held mock interviews to assist students with landing their dream nursing position.

 She lives by the words that her mother, Paula Hines instilled in her and siblings, “mediocrity is not a possibility.” So, Nichelle competes with herself daily and she conquers it “through Jesus Christ who strengthens her.” “My faith is what helped me through this journey.”

Nichelle Hines is making moves as a mother and registered nurse. Below are the steps she gives to prepare others who aspire to become a nurse:

  1. Find a school that is best for you (Go see an advisor and talk to them about your goals. They could give you guidance and inform you of the prerequisites and offer valuable information that you may not otherwise receive).
  1. Prepare for an entrance exam and pass! (for some schools, it’s required)
  1. Start your Clinicals (Learn all different aspects of nursing)
  2. Take exit exam (For most schools, this exam will determine if you could graduate from nursing school.
  1. Prepare to take the State Board Exam.
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