Frank Baez barely spoke English when he arrived in the United States, he and his two brothers came to the United States from the Dominican Republic in 2004, when he was 15 years old. In order to help his mother out with the bills he got a job as a weekend housekeeper at NYU Langone’s Tisch Hospital when he was 17. That is how Baez got his first healthcare experience as a teenager, mopping floors and cleaning patients’ rooms as a hospital janitor at New York University. But that wouldn’t be his last, as he was inspired by what he saw there, he next took a patient transport job taking people to tests and other procedures.
While working his job he began to ask the Nurse’s questions about patient care and what it takes to become a nurse. “I felt inspired by them to become a nurse, so I told them ‘I want to be a nurse like you guys,'” he said. “I was inspired by their work and everything they do for their patients.” They encouraged him to follow his dreams and so Baez got his associate’s degree and then went to Hunter College to get his bachelor’s degree in Spanish literature with a minor in biological sciences. This meant he was the first member of his family to graduate college. After college, he got a job as a unit clerk at NYU Langone Orthopedic Hospital and got to work closely with the nurses there. This while he continued his education and working, sometimes between morning classes, afternoon work, and studying he would have some very long days.
This week, the 29-year-old got his nursing degree from NYU’s Rory Meyers College of Nursing, after finishing an accelerated 15-month program. During the program he had an unusual experience; watching the nurses work made the things he was learning “come to life.” “It’s amazing because you are like ‘Oh my God, I just learned this and look at them, they’re doing it,'” he said. Now that he’s graduated, Baez is getting ready for his licensing boards and hopes to get a nursing job at NYU.
Frank Baez followed his dreams, encouraged by those around him, and in a pursuit to help people as a nurse. When you have a calling it is worth pursuing, it might take you 15 years, but you can get there. See more about Frank’s story in your Good News Story of the Day here.
Story and Image from CNN.