Our 2020 $5,000 Education Award Winner is…
Henrietta Buckley of St. Louis, MO!
Written by: Pat Magrath, National Sales Director
The Winner of our 2020 DiversityNursing.com $5,000 Education Award is Henrietta Buckley of St Louis, MO! Henrietta has enjoyed her career as a Nurse for 19 years and is currently working on her Master’s degree in Nurse Education.
Henrietta grew up in the south side of Chicago in a very diverse neighborhood. Her parents are from Mexico and her native language is Spanish. She learned English in kindergarten.
As a child, she wanted to be a doctor, but things changed. She married young and lived in Mexico for a few years. College was put on the back burner as her first child was born a year after she married.
She moved to St Louis and became involved with her church. A pregnant parishioner from Mexico asked Henrietta if she would translate for her at her doctor’s appointments. Of course she agreed. Henrietta said it was during those doctor visits and being there for the birth that she knew Nursing would be her career.
Henrietta said “watching the Nurse take such great care of my friend during her labor and delivery, I knew this is what I wanted to do.” With the level of care, knowledge and professionalism she saw that day, Nursing became her calling.
She went to the local community college and took Nursing classes part-time. Henrietta received her Associate’s degree in 2001. It took her 4 years because she was busy building her family and taking care of her 4 children. In 2010, she was awarded her BSN.
Henrietta wanted to work in Labor & Delivery, but was hired in the Postpartum department at Mercy Hospital in St Louis. She stayed in that department for 19 years.
Just a few months ago, an opportunity became available in an OB/GYN office as a triage Nurse. She took the job, has weekends off, and loves it!
Her new job started just as the coronavirus was breaking in the US. She’s working in the office seeing patients, learning new systems, and fielding phone calls with patients to make assessments. Many of her patients have fears, anxiety, and depression given the coronavirus situation. It’s a very stressful time to be pregnant.
When I asked Henrietta what she loves about her career, she said “I love being a preceptor as well as taking care of the new moms and new babies. It doesn’t get old or redundant.” Teaching new moms how to breastfeed, bathe and diaper their babies as well as educating pregnant mothers about their medical issues, such as hypertension or gestational diabetes, is where she thrives.
An important message she shares with her students is “even though you will do this job every day, remember what a special moment it is for the new mothers. Keep this in mind and show your enthusiasm.”
Her large family has always been Henrietta’s top priority. In addition to her 4 children, she is also happy to be step-mother to her husband’s 2 children. Now that she has weekends off, she is thrilled to have more time to spend with them and her 2 granddaughters. Her house is busy, full of love, and she feels truly blessed!
In addition to spending time with her family, she plays tennis “for the terrific exercise and it’s fun”. With her husband, she attended the French Open and thoroughly enjoyed
it. Henrietta also enjoys reading, travel, and a goal of hers is to teach at a university that has a location in another country where she can teach a semester or two and thrive in their culture.
Henrietta plans to use her DiversityNursing.com $5,000 Education Award toward her Master’s degree. As you can tell, Henrietta is a born teacher and student. She knows it was her mother who instilled her love of learning in her.
I asked her for words of advice to new Nurses. She said “always be open to learning. Every day I’m learning new things. Be open to having students to mentor – you will feel their energy and excitement”
Congratulations Henrietta! Your love of your family and Nursing is who you are and it’s a pleasure to honor you with our $5,000 Education Award!