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Thursday, June 20, 2024

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

Jaines Andrades

Nationwide — In 2020, Jaines Andrades, an African American woman from Springfield, Massachusetts who was once a janitor at Baystate Medical Center, achieved her dream of becoming a nurse practitioner in the hospital’s Trauma Surgery Department. She exerted herself for ten years with lots of hard work and dedication.

“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.

Born to Puerto Rican parents in Buffalo, New York, Jaines moved to Springfield in 2005. She initially wanted to be a lawyer but felt discouraged in high school. She decided to switch career paths during a doctor’s visit with her mom when a nurse shared the benefits of the nursing profession.

She began her nursing journey at Holyoke Community College and then transferred to Elms College in 2010. That same year, she started working as a custodian at Baystate, cleaning the operating rooms and observing the nurses at work. This experience deepened her interest in nursing.

In 2014, Jaines earned her bachelor’s degree in nursing but continued working as a janitor while looking for a nursing position. In 2015, she was hired as a registered nurse at the Mason Square Neighborhood Health Clinic. Her colleagues noticed her dedication and potential early on.

She even furthered her education and pursued a doctorate in nursing. At the same time, she returned to Baystate to work as a registered nurse in its acute care unit. She continued working there until she finally got promoted as a 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.”