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Faces of PLNU: One parent’s passion for nursing

Have you ever met anyone who wanted to retake the SATs 15 years after high school just to come to school again?

The thought of restarting college might make some people uncomfortable but not freshman Tessa Anderson. After graduating from cosmetology school fourteen years ago, this born-again student is ready to the hit the books. A wife and mom of one, Anderson is beginning the pursuit of a bachelor’s degree in nursing this Fall.

Anderson has previous experience in the medical field. She graduated from Kaplan College with a certificate in Medical Assisting. After an internship, she landed a job at Best Start Birth Center located in Hillcrest where she worked for three years. There, her passion for nursing grew until she decided to pursue her dream of nursing, even though it meant leaving her job to become a full-time student.

“They know I am making myself better and bettering myself for my family. They were sad to see me go but they were excited to see me do more” Anderson said.

Finding the motivation to come back to school does not come to many easily. As Anderson is starting from scratch, she knows that she is the motivation for many others around her. But for Anderson, her daughter, Peyton, is the motivation she needed to start this journey.

“You’re going to be my nurse and I’ll be the doctor, okay mommy? I am going to go to college too,” Peyton says to Anderson while she is studying.

Anderson’s birthing complications allowed her to see the amazing work that nurses do every day. From her emergency C-section to having to go back to the hospital for another week, she received comfort through this trial with the help of her husband, Willie Anderson, and the nurses that provided the care she needed with love and support.

“Through that experience, I knew my nurse was there with me and she was amazing. I just knew that I wanted to be that support for someone else,” said Anderson. A degree in nursing is not a major for the weak-hearted. Facing a semester filled with anatomy and chemistry, Anderson is determined to make her dreams a reality someday soon. She knows that it will be an uphill battle but she is ready for what is to come with the help of her fellow classmates and professors. Anderson knows that everyone’s journey is different but is sure this is what she wants. Anderson stated, “I feel so supported and so uplifted that I know that anything is possible while I am here.”

Being a full-time student at PLNU and trying to juggle school, a family, and time for herself isn’t easy, but she succeeds by doing the little things that matter. Whether it is a family day at SeaWorld San Diego or just hanging out watching a movie, she enjoys the simple things in life.

So next time you are in chapel or just sitting down, take the time to look around and meet someone new. You never know what stories you will hear and and how it might inspire you and give you the motivation you need.


About the author

Victoria Manriquez

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