"I can remember waking up in my hospital room and seeing the smiling faces," she said.
She was fascinated by the doctors and nurses around her. One nurse in particular, named Karen, provided ongoing care for her and became her inspiration. This experience sparked an interest that would eventually lead to her career as a nurse manager and educator.
"I always wanted to be like Karen," she said. "I feel that fate has driven my goals to advance toward healthcare."
'There is Always an Open Door'
Amanda entered the healthcare industry as a surgical technologist, eventually working her way up to a career in nurse management, as well as joining Ashworth College's RN to BSN program as a faculty member.
Along the way, she earned her bachelor of science in nursing, two master's degrees in nursing and business administration, a doctorate of nursing practice, and is currently pursuing a doctorate in nursing philosophy with a focus in nursing education.
In short, she understands the challenge of managing school, work and family. What makes it all possible for her? Support.
For Amanda, balancing her personal life with her career ambitions has always been a team effort. She looks to her husband and five children for support and understanding as she takes each step in her education and her career.
When asked for advice on how to make it work, Amanda said you have to communicate with family members and, "outline what is to be expected during each quarter or semester," so they understand where they can lend a hand, while also scheduling planned family time to make sure those activities aren't neglected.
She also attributes much of her success to the community of nurses around her.
"I had an excellent group of nurses who I worked with during my initial stages of [my career]," she said. "I gained mentors that gave me the strength to advance forward."
Amanda found the final piece of the support puzzle in herself—by believing she could accomplish her goals, she found her own possibilities.
"I don't view struggles to be obstacles or barriers," she said. "I take those moments and develop a plan to advance forward. There is always an open door."