December Alumni Spotlight: Jameika Newell ’19

Name: Jameika Newell

Grad Year: 2019

Program: Nursing

Current Title: Registered Nurse, Community Health Center of Buffalo

In Her Own Words:

I grew up with my grandparents in the city of Buffalo and my grandmother was a military nurse, so nursing has been in my family. I have always wanted to help people. Earlier on in my career I was a personal care assistant and also worked as a dental assistant. My cousin was the one who inspired me to go back to school and pursue my nursing degree, which led me to Trocaire.

Trocaire was very challenging. While attending college, I was working multiple jobs, including managing my own commercial cleaning business. At the time, I was also planning my wedding so trying to juggle personal responsibilities, full-time work, and difficult schoolwork was hard!

Currently, I am employed at Community Health Center of Buffalo and am working as a registered nurse. The CHCB is a federally qualified health center that provides access to quality and affordable health care to all members of our community, regardless of their ability to pay. I enjoy caring for my patients and working with a diverse population.

As a new nurse entering the nursing field at the beginning of a pandemic, I felt very prepared, and I can thank Trocaire for that.

However, the road to my RN was not an easy one. During my third semester, I was doing my clinical rotation at CHCB, and I wasn’t sure if I was going to make it through the program. Dr. Ansari, the CEO of CHCB, encouraged me to continue and not give up. My health care family also stood by me, allowing me to change my work schedule to per diem so that I had more time to study. I successfully completed my boards in February 2020.

My advice to Trocaire students currently enrolled in the nursing program would be to keep your head up and just keep going. At one point, I was going to give up. I am so glad I did not. Life on the other side of the completing your coursework is extremely rewarding.

Like everyone, I had to adjust to a new way of life with the pandemic. I have always enjoyed being up close and personal with my patients. My patients mean everything to me. Like many nurses would agree, I entered this field to help people and so I feel close to my patients. When they cry, I cry. I had to learn how to distance myself physically, while still providing the same personalized level of care.

As the owner of a local commercial cleaning business, I also had to adjust to a new way of COVID protocol cleaning so essential local businesses could continue to remain open and functioning. I oversee 30 employees and several large commercial locations, so I had to quickly facilitate and deliver on a new safety standard.

Trocaire is tough for a reason. The education I received from Trocaire thoroughly prepared me for my career. Looking back on everything, Trocaire helped me to become the confident and successful nurse I am today. No one could have expected how things would change in response to this pandemic, but I was able to directly apply what I learned in college to the way things are now.

The CHCB has kept its doors open throughout the pandemic so we can continue to care for the members of our community. We have had to adjust our level of care to keep everyone safe and maintain trust. I felt comfortable the whole way through, because of how Trocaire has prepared me. Looking ahead, I will continue with nursing and one day hope to pursue my Nurse Practitioner degree. I look forward to being able to help my future patients and also help local businesses stay safe through my cleaning business.