She Has a Heart for Nursing
When Shadae Pinnock decided to become a nurse, she chose PCCC for her training. “People told me the nurses produced by PCCC were really great nurses,” she explained.
Concerned at first that PCCC’s program might be too challenging, Shadae listened to her heart and followed her passion. “I decided that if I was going to be a nurse, I wanted to be the best nurse I could be, and PCCC was the place to make that happen,” she said.
Last May, Shadae graduated not only with her AAS degree in Nursing, but also with the 2023 New Jersey League for Nursing Award, given to a state resident who demonstrated involvement in both school and community activities, especially those related to healthcare. And, this month, she successfully passed the exam to become a full-fledged Registered Nurse (RN).
“I am so happy I did it,” said Shadae, who was a full-time student while working as an LPN (Licensed Practical Nurse) and taking care of a toddler son. “It was challenging, but worth it.”
An immigrant from Jamaica, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in HR management from the University of the West Indies, Shadae was working in HR and continued job hunting in the U.S., when an employment advisor suggested she explore healthcare opportunities and develop skills in that direction.
She enrolled at Seton Hall University in a master’s degree program for healthcare administration, but shortly after she began, Shadae learned she was pregnant and put her studies on hold, an interruption that ultimately led to her true career path.
When Shadae went into labor and required emergency surgery, the care and kindness of the nursing staff at the hospital made a profound impression on her “They were so amazing,” she said. “They made such an impact on me, and I decided that I also wanted to have that impact on someone’s life.”
Realizing that her heart was drawn more to nursing than to administration, Shadae trained to become an LPN (Licensed Practical Nurse), and worked in healthcare jobs while at PCCC. She also volunteered at her church’s youth department and spearheaded a Sunday school for very young students. “They are the ones who are more impressionable, but often forgotten,” she explained.
It was these community activities, in addition to her college studies, that made Shadae a worthy recipient of the New Jersey League for Nursing Award. “I am so appreciative to receive such an honor,” she said.
Currently, Shadae is working as a school nurse for a facility that serves special needs children, Now that she is an RN, she plans to also continue her nursing education toward a bachelor’s degree.
To aspiring nurses, Shadae shares this wisdom. “Make sure that you have a heart for nursing. It’s not an easy job and you may give up if you don’t have your whole heart in it.”
She is also grateful for her “wonderfully supportive husband,” Filando Pinnock. “He stood by my side this entire time.” said Shadae. “By myself , I would not have been able to do this.”
And she has high praise for the College. “I would 100 per cent recommend PCCC to others,” said Shadae. “It is community based, the tuition is one of the best, and the quality education here prepares us really well for the future.” As for the nursing program and faculty, Shadae added, “I came out of that program feeling that my professors were really invested in me. It was so worth it.”
Photo: Nursing Professor Rosalee Cain-Francis presents Shadae with the 2023 New Jersey League for Nursing Award at the Nurse Pinning Ceremony on May 22, 2023.