The way the nurse’s gown swayed as she walked into her hospital room mesmerized the little girl. What must it be like to be a nurse every day? This question stuck with the little girl all her life, and in March 1999, she graduated with her bachelor’s degree in nursing. However, this would not be the end of her journey. Seven years later, she would find herself 8,000 miles from home at Anderson University, achieving her life-long dream of higher education.
Jovenia Salazar was born and raised in the Philippines and always wanted to pursue a higher education. In 2005, she found the Global Scholarship Alliance, which provides future nurses across the world with scholarships and work study programs.
“I chose Anderson University because it offered a dual degree, so I could achieve both a Master of Science in Nursing and a Master of Business Administration,” said Salazar. “I wanted to compete in the health care market.”
While studying and taking classes, Salazar works part time at Community Hospital North in Indianapolis, Ind. At first she was sending $400-600 per month back home to support her family in the Philippines. After a few months, she realized there was a better way to help her family.
“My knowledge in entrepreneurship gave me the ability to start a business back home, so I started an Internet café,” said Salazar. Her whole family works full time at the café, and now they can support themselves. They currently have 12 computers and are planning to add more.
While supporting her family, finishing two graduate degrees and working can be challenging and exhausting at times, Salazar said, “If you love what you do, it becomes your courage to continue until you succeed.” The love of her family, the opportunity of practical work and the desire to achieve dreams has given her the strength to find success.
Coming to the United States was very exciting for Salazar. Although she had a difficult time adjusting to her work environment and to school, she felt very supported by the Anderson University community.
“Professor Travis (one of my first-year MSN professors) taught me about American history, the health care system and how today’s nurses have gained respect from physicians,” Salazar said. “That class alone was very helpful for me to successfully merge two cultures in my system.” She also mentioned that all her professors have been very welcoming, approachable and supportive. [Photo on right: Jovenia with her husband, Justin.]
Salazar is graduated with two master’s degrees in May 2010. She hopes her passion for taking care of people, along with her degrees, will help her achieve her life-long dream.
- Joshua Mifflin is a senior from Anderson, Ind., majoring in communication arts and Spanish. Mifflin is an associate with Fifth Street Communications writing on behalf of Anderson University Office of University Communications.
Anderson University is a private Christian university of 2,700 undergraduate and graduate students in central Indiana. Anderson continues to be recognized as a top Christian college: in 2009, U.S. News and World Report ranked Anderson University among the best colleges and universities in the Midwest for the sixth consecutive year. Established in 1917 by the Church of God, Anderson University offers more than 65 undergraduate majors and graduate programs in business, education, music, nursing and theology.