By Cristal Gomez
“Walking the red carpet” to a successful nursing career with star guest Taquita Love brought nurses in the field giving advice to future nurses.
“The Nursing Pub” founded by Mona Clayton brought together the event with the help of the director of community engagement, John King. Bringing colleges and programs the nursing students may apply for experience and expand their knowledge. One of the programs is Cope Health Scholars, this program is partnered with Kaiser Permanente.
Roya Mirilavassani, regional manager of Cope Health went to encourage students to join the program. Cope Health allows the student to gain clinical experience while working alongside nurses and physicians. In order to apply for the program students must be enrolled at an accredited college or university and be at least 18 years old.
“Allowing the students to have the exposure of the field is important. This allows the students to see what department of nursing they want to focus on. Some of the scholars who do the program begin to have connections within Kaiser and get a job once they graduate,” Mirilavassani said.
During the conference Jorge Castillo who is the human resource specialist for the city of Carson. Castillo gave advice on how to go properly dressed for an interview and what to say.
“When anyone walks into an interview, go in with a smile. Ladies, don’t wear the same dress you would take to the club. Gentlemen, make sure you iron your clothes and no stains are on the clothing. Looking presentable is very important and doing research about the company is crucial as well. Don’t get discouraged if you didn’t receive the job. Have an elevator speech memorized, this will help answer one of the questions an employer may ask.,” Castillo said.
The panel discussion included Maury Hopkins, Melody Hoggro-Harvey, Anthony L. Hines, Taquita Love and Mona Clayton. Each individual has a job within the nursing fields ranging from pediatric oncology to neuropsychiatry. In the discussion, students were able to ask the panelists question regarding the field. Erica Portillo, a nursing student, asked “Has anyone in the panel ever been confronted a situation regarding their race?”
Love responded to Portillo’s question, “Sadly, I have but it is something that you have to grow a tough skin for. I wasn’t use to patients not wanting me as their nurse because of my color. At the end of the day, you’re there to make sure they get the help they need. You tried to help them but they didn’t want your help.”
Itzel Martinez a nursing student at Pasadena City College, is part of Cope Health Scholars.
“This is my first conference for nursing, it was honestly very informative. I learned about how to properly dress for an interview. I am glad I was able to get this information since I have an interview coming soon. The main message I got from the entire conference is to never give up, no matter what happens don’t let small things get to you. A nurses job is to help others and that is what I plan on doing,” Martinez said.