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Our Nurse of the Week is Frank Baez, who recently shared his journey from working as a janitor at New York University (NYU) to graduating from the university’s nursing program over ten years later. Baez moved to New York from the Dominican Republic at 15 years old where he found a job working as a janitor at NYU’s Langone Tisch Hospital. This spring, he graduated from the school’s nursing program at 29 years old.

As a janitor at the hospital, Baez was responsible for cleaning patient rooms, bathrooms, and hallways. He was later promoted to be a patient transporter, ensuring that patients got where they needed to be for surgeries and tests. It was his work in the hospital setting that sparked Baez’s interest in a career in the medical field.

Baez shared his experience with “I could barely speak English at the time when I started working at NYU. Now I reflect on it and I feel very proud of how much I accomplished…While working with the nurses, I realized I wanted to be one of them. I learned how much they advocate for their patients and the passion they have for their job.”

As a young adult, Baez left NYU to earn his bachelor’s degree at Hunter College, but he came right back where he started for nursing school and entered an accelerated program at NYU Rory Meyers College of Nursing. Natalya Pasklinsky, who worked on the same unit at Baez when he was a janitor, is now the director of simulation learning for NYU Nursing. She reports that Baez completed the program with “flying colors.”

Now a nursing school graduate, Baez’s goal is to become a critical care nurse in the intensive care unit. To learn more about Frank Baez, who recently shared his journey from NYU janitor to NYU nursing graduate, visit here.

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