Woman Becomes a Nurse at the Same Hospital Where She Was Once a Janitor

Jaines Andrades, an African American woman from Springfield, Massachusetts, who used to work as a janitor at Baystate Medical Center, realized her dream of becoming a nurse practitioner in the hospital’s Trauma Surgery Department. She worked tirelessly and with passion for ten years.

“Honestly, I applied for the job just to get my foot in the door, to see what the nurses did and what it was like in the hospital,” she told Mass Live.

Jaines relocated to Springfield in 2005 from Buffalo, New York, where he was born to Puerto Rican parents. She aspired to be a lawyer but was discouraged in high school. She chose to change careers at a doctor’s visit with her mother, when a nurse explained the advantages of the nursing profession.

She began her nursing studies at Holyoke Community College before transferring to Elms College in 2010. That same year, she began working as a custodian at Baystate, cleaning operating rooms and witnessing nurses in action. This event fueled her passion in nursing.

Jaines received her bachelor’s degree in nursing in 2014, but she continued to work as a janitor while seeking a nursing employment. In 2015, she began working as a registered nurse at Mason Square Neighborhood Health Clinic. Her coworkers saw her passion and potential early on.

She even continued her schooling, pursuing a PhD in nursing. Simultaneously, she returned to Baystate to work as a registered nurse in the acute care unit. She continued working there until she was promoted to nurse practitioner.

“It wasn’t a smooth ride, it wasn’t an easy ride, but it got done,” Andrades says. “That’s what I’m happy about.”

Reflecting on her journey, Jaines acknowledges the support of her family and friends.

“My mom is my biggest cheerleader,” she said. “I know if it wasn’t for her support I would not have made it through because she believed in me when I didn’t believe in myself. I have an older brother, and he has also been so supportive.”

Moreover, she posted a photo of her three work badges on Facebook, showing her progression from janitor to a registered nurse to nurse practitioner. The post received overwhelming support, inspiring many.

Jaines hopes her story inspires others to pursue their dreams.

“I hope that people will understand that you can do it, that you can achieve what you want, not even academically or professionally, but in your life,” Andrades said. “Your life is what you make it, and, if you’re working towards your dreams and you believe in yourself and you believe in your dream, it doesn’t matter if the path isn’t perfect. Even if there are hardships and struggles along the way, it doesn’t discount the value of your achievement.”

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