A Modern Day Florence Nightingale: Jasmine Martin
At a young age Jasmine Martin believed she found her calling. After graduating high school, she took a job as a sitter for an elderly couple. “When I saw the hospice nurses administering treatments. I felt pushed. My spirit pushed me and I felt a deep connection to helping those in need,” Martin said.
Not only does she have a passion for the elderly, she’s also passionate about helping those with mental disabilities. I fell in love with this type of care when I began working at a group home. She began to see mental illness not in terms of behavior, but as a sickness like other diseases. “I originally wanted to be a teacher. But, after my first job as a sitter at 18 years of age, I knew then what I wanted to do. I wanted to be a nurse-a hospice nurse.”
Unfortunately, her dream of being a nurse was almost derailed when she had to withdraw from the private Christian university she was attending because she could not afford the tuition.
Thanks to a friend, she learned about the practical nursing program at Reid State Technical College and the funding available through WIOA. “My friend started one month and I started the next month,” she explained. Martin describes the program as being very intense. She learned clinical skills such as IV Therapy, physical assessment and other vital practices to fulfill the requirements of the program.
She explains that juggling, work, motherhood, and her studies were challenging. “The hardest part was not spending as much time with my daughter and the limited resources due to my class schedule,” Martin said. The supportive staff and teachers at Reid State helped her through the process. She’s really thankful that the professors understood the demands of being a mother, a part-time worker and a full-time nursing student. “The staff took the time to get to know me and work with me,” Martin explained.
That support allowed her to successfully complete the requirements for the program and she is now a practicing nurse at Palm Gardens Nursing Facility. In fact, she’s the first nurse in her family, according to Martin, and everyone is proud of her.
Martin further acknowledged that she is also the recipient of the Florence Nightingale Award for excellence in nursing care.