Fulfilling a Dream: Leading and Teaching by Example

Our People


Erica, BSN, RN

Erica, BSN, RN, has worked at Independence Plus for less than one year—and is on the fast track! She started as a field nurse working with some of our most complex pediatric and adult patients. Now, she’s working as a nurse educator and transitioning some of our new ventilator-dependent patients from the hospital to home.

Erica’s three children were her inspiration to enroll in college to fulfill her lifelong dream of becoming a nurse. As Erica continues to grow as a nurse, her passion for nursing is stemmed in her determination to make the best life for her children.

Childhood Dream

“Believe it or not, becoming a nurse was always my childhood dream,” Erica begins. “Always.”

Erica started working as a medical assistant in doctor’s offices, where she stayed for almost 15 years until she found the motivation to go to college to become a nurse.

“I have three children,” Erica explains. “As they grew, my children started having their own dreams and ambitions.”

Erica’s oldest daughter started talking about going to college in the fourth grade. She was Erica’s driving force behind enrolling in school to become an LPN.

“I thought to myself, I’m not going to be able to afford my daughter’s college tuition unless I go to college, too.”


Erica, BSN, RN, teaching new nurses during Pre-Employment class

Leading by Example

One year after becoming an LPN, Erica enrolled at St. Xavier University to receive her Bachelor’s degree in Nursing.

“During the course of my studies, there were times I wanted to quit,” Erica says. “My children reminded me why I had to continue.”

Erica is now a living example to her children of what it takes to persevere and accomplish a dream.

Erica’s daughter is now 20 years old and is in her junior year of college where she is majoring in biochemistry. Her two youngest children are both 15 years old; her son is a sophomore in high school and wants to become an engineer and her adopted daughter who has special needs is attending a therapeutic school where she is working to maximize her potential.

“I’m very proud of all my children,” Erica says. “They are all good kids.”

Becoming A Better Nurse

Erica’s youngest daughter experienced a Traumatic Brain Injury when she was an infant. Erica says the adoption was not planned, but that she was “chosen” to adopt when her now-daughter was only 14 months old.

“She’s my baby,” Erica smiles.

While Erica is proud of all of her children, she is particularly proud of the progress her youngest daughter has made in school. The plan is for her to function at her highest level. All of Erica’s children subscribe to this goal.

Over the years, Erica’s daughter’s rehabilitation has inspired Erica’s work with pediatric patients.

“I apply the same passion I have for my daughter to each of my patients.” Erica continues, “My passion lies in my desire for her (and my patients) to succeed and reach their maximum potential.”


“I’m always learning,” Erica says.

When Erica joined Independence Plus, she was looking for a position where she could grow as a nurse but still maintain flexibility for her children.

Erica says she wanted to learn more and expand her knowledge, “I just wanted more.”

Independence Plus offered Erica the best of both worlds—growing her clinical knowledge and skills and working a flexible schedule.

Now, Erica is returning the favor to other nurses. She is one of Independence Plus’ instructors in Pre-Employment Class for nurse applicants and also trains nurses in the field to care for new patients once they transition home from the hospital.

“Our medically complex patients were a challenge at first, but I continued to work on my skills, expand my knowledge, and reach out for help when I needed it,” Erica says.

She makes sure to tell every nurse in Pre-Employment: “You are never alone. Even though you work in the home by yourself, you always, always have a resource where you can get help.”


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