Twenty-five years ago today, Sept. 13, 1993, Angela Medley walked through the doors of Penn Presbyterian Medical Center and never looked back. In the ensuing years, she worked her way up to director of nursing on the skilled nursing facility. No doubt, earning her degrees from Immaculata helped Angela along her career journey. After earning a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (B.S.N.) in 2013, she is on track to earn a Master of Science in Nursing with only two classes remaining.
She is from West Philadelphia and proud of it. “I always say to people, ‘I’m like Fresh Prince: West Philadelphia born and raised,’” she says, referring to the ’90s hit TV show The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. “Everybody always cracks up when I tell them that,” she says, laughing.
True to her roots, Angela continues to live in West Philadelphia, not far from where she grew up. She commutes to her job at Penn and takes public transportation to her Immaculata classes, which are nearby at 1500 Market Street. Living close to where she works and goes to school is convenient for her, but she has still had to work hard and make sacrifices to get her career to where it is today. Eventually, she would like to obtain an executive position within the nursing field.
Growing up, Angela’s parents provided solid role models for their daughter. “Whenever someone needed help, they were always there,” she remembers. “My mom would visit elderly relatives and bathe and feed them.” Angela’s mom was an operating room technician at Lankenau Hospital for 45 years. Seeing this level of dedication to family and care since her youth, Angela understands the importance of supporting others.
“I’m a people person,” she says proudly. “I need to be around people.” She enjoys meeting her fellow classmates, all of whom are in the health care industry. She acknowledges that some of the benefits of taking classes in a cohort environment are the discussions. Angela notes that people talk about issues and throw ideas around in class. “They may think of something that never crossed my mind.” She appreciates that the conversations are candid but confidential. When the students discuss daily struggles at work, such as employee call-outs, Angela and her classmates brainstorm ideas on how to fix the problem. “It’s free, intimate space where I know if I say something, it’s kept in the strictest of confidence,” she says.
With as much experience as Angela has in the health care field, her favorite class thus far has been Nursing Administration with Immaculata faculty member Pamela Hudson, Ph.D. Topics covered in the class are things that nurses’ training often does not emphasize, including developing emotional intelligence, working with different personalities and understanding generational differences. These important subjects are at the crux of Immaculata’s holistic approach to nursing.
Now that her college courses are nearly completed, Angela is beginning to enjoy some down time. After not taking a vacation for 24 years, she recently traveled to Las Vegas and Seattle and caught the “travel bug.” She is ready to discover more. For now, she will complete her M.S.N. degree, continue watching murder mysteries on TV and plan her next journey.