Life circumstances propelled Dorothy Davis toward a health-related career without her even realizing it. When she was growing up and her father became ill, her mother decided to go back to school and earn her Certified Nursing Assistant certification so she could support the family. Davis helped her mother study and, in the process, learned right along with her. By her junior year at Lisbon Central High School in northern New York, it seemed perfectly reasonable for her to enroll in a two-year medical program. At age 18, she became a Licensed Practical Nurse.
Davis would begin her career working as a charge nurse and eventually move to Syracuse for a position at St. Joseph's Hospital where she was encouraged to continue her education. "I was fortunate that my team and the institution really emphasized the notion of professional development and education. I really began to think about my options beyond what I was doing."
That led her to Onondaga Community College and the Nursing program where she was able to seamlessly mesh her work and class schedules. Each week she would work three 12-hour days and use the other four days of the week for her classes and coursework. "The professors were exactly what I needed. They set me on a path to where I am today. I couldn't be more grateful."
She's continued to have a similar schedule while continuing her education and balancing the demands of being a wife and mother to a two children; a daughter and a son. Today Davis is in the final stages of completing a Nursing doctoral program at the University of South Alabama which she's doing online while working at Johns Hopkins University. She's a Nurse Practitioner at its Ciccarone Center which provides education and treatment for patients at high risk for developing cardiovascular disease. She treats patients, helps them understand their options, and how they can help themselves. "I've always wanted to provide not only the best bedside care for my patients, but to also educate and empower them to the choices they have so they can advocate for themselves in the most effective way."
Once she completes her doctorate degree Davis plans to work on patient-centered care strategies. She can also see herself returning to the classroom, this time as a professor. "I'd love the opportunity to mold Nursing students while they are new to healthcare so they could develop a patient-centered care philosophy. It would be a great way to give back to those who have given me so much."
The OCC Foundation works to support students with programming, emergency funding, and awards that help students get to the finish line. To learn more about how you can support students, please contact Steffani Williams, Director Development & Annual Giving at email@example.com.