Alumni Spotlight Archive
JANET HERNANDEZ, 2007 graduate, Associate Degree in Applied Science
Labor and delivery nurse at Westlake Hospital.
Married, 24 years old, mother of a 6 month old baby girl, associate’s degree in Applied Science. Labor and delivery nurse at Westlake Hospital since 2007. Currently working three 12 hour shifts. Assessing patients, assisting them with pain management, keeping patients hydrated, assisting doctors with labor and delivery.
What would you describe as your strong suit?
Math and Science, nurturing individuals, genuinely caring for people and loving what I do each day.
What have been some obstacles you've had to overcome in pursuit of your educational and career goals?
When I started the program at Triton, my strong suit was in math and science. However, I quickly learned that I needed to read a lot of material over a long period of time, which I was not accustomed to doing in high school. I had to really discipline myself and focus! Rather than reading at home where there were a lot of distractions, I would stay at Triton’s library until it would close. I also drank a lot of coffee to get me through the long nights!
What has served as a source of inspiration both in your career and in your life?
I was the first person in my family to ever attend and finish college. My parents strongly supported and helped me get through the difficult times. Tutors and the Director of the Westlake/Triton Scholarship Foundation provided me with more support than I could have imagined. I can’t say enough good things about the program.
How has Triton College impacted your life?
Triton was a great place for me. I lived in Melrose Park and was able to have a short commute between, work, home and school. Even though I was married and juggled a job while going to school, Triton’s flexible class schedules, tutoring support and flexible hours of operation for the library, computer lab, etc, made it possible for me to succeed. Also, through the Westlake/Triton Scholarship Foundation, I was able to start taking classes my junior year of high school and rotate through different areas of the hospital. Doing this provided me with experience in different areas and allowed me to pick an area within the hospital where I would eventually land. After I applied to the program and was accepted, the rest was up to me. Triton College and my family provided me with a lot of support. Upon completion of the program, I was guaranteed a job.
What advice would you give to someone who would like to pursue a career in your field?
I love the profession and have no regrets. You have to like what you are doing because you deal with a lot of things that can gross people out. For me, it is very rewarding. When going through the program, it’s hard! But, there is a light at the end of the tunnel.
What are your plans for the future?
I’d like to go back for my bachelor’s degree in education. After that, I’d like to get my master’s degree. I’d eventually like to teach nursing. I’m aware of Triton’s agreement with Benedictine University and plan to complete my bachelor’s degree through this program.