Ten years ago when Jaines Andrades started working at Baystate Medical in Springfield, Massachusetts, she was a janitor. But with hard work and lots of sacrifices, she has now returned to the same Springfield hospital as a nurse practitioner.
She recently took to Facebook to share her journey and posted a photo of her three work badges — one as a custodian, another as a nurse and the third as a nurse practitioner. She captioned the photo, “10 years of work, but worth it.”
Indeed, hard work pays off. Andrades was working at a fast-food restaurant when Baystate called her for an interview. Growing up, she had wanted to become a lawyer but when she learned the benefits of becoming a nurse during a doctor’s visit with her mom, she changed her mind.
And with her desire to help people and get an idea of what nurses really do, she took up the custodian job at Baystate in 2010 while at Elms College. She first cleaned an urgent care unit before she was transferred to the operating room.
“I was able to interact with the nurses, and I would see patients coming and going from the operating room,” Andrades told MassLive. “It was my first time seeing what it really is to be a nurse, and it piqued my interest. I was excited to learn more.”
For about five years, she worked at the hospital as a custodian before graduating from the Elms with a bachelor’s degree in nursing. In two years, she was hired as a registered nurse at Baystate. But her colleagues convinced her to go one step further, and she began pursuing her doctorate in nursing.
It was while studying for her doctorate that she got transferred to a new job as a registered nurse in Baystate’s acute care unit. There, she specialized in working with patients with heart failure. She worked there until three weeks ago when she was hired as a nurse practitioner in the Trauma Surgery Department at Baystate.
“It wasn’t a smooth ride, it wasn’t an easy ride, but it got done. That’s what I’m happy about,” Andrades said while thanking her family and friends for their support.
Born to Puerto Rican parents in Buffalo, New York, Andrades moved to Springfield with her family in 2005 when she was 14 years old. Today, she is living out her dreams.
Having learned as a custodian that every part of the hospital and every person who works in the hospital is important, Andrades said she hopes that her story “can inspire people who feel maybe discouraged by their past or where they come from.”
“I just want to let them know if I can do it, anyone can.”