Stephanie Alvarado: Nursing Dream Comes True

by Stefanie Carruth
Published April 18, 2018

Stephanie Alvarado’s dream was not unique—she wanted to become a nurse—but like so many young mothers who believe their hands are tied, she was unsure if her dream would, or even could, become a reality.

Stephanie AlvaradoIt did. Today, Stephanie is director of the Hereford Regional Medical Center—Home Health Care and supervises a staff of 11. Yet her uncertainty was understandable back in 2000, when she was two years removed from Hereford High School and holding two young kids in her lap.

“I had always wanted to be a nurse, but there was no one in my family who had gone to college, so I was pretty much clueless,” Stephanie said. “I didn’t know what to ask. I didn’t even know who to ask.

“But I do remember sitting there with a 2-year-old and a 2-week-old and thinking ‘what am I doing?’ I wondered if my kids would one day need me to have an education, a career, a living our family could rely on. I felt I had to do something for them.”

So Stephanie, less than a month after childbirth, called Amarillo College and discovered a new world, particularly in the form of AC’s Adult Student Services, which ultimately helped her with childcare and transportation costs, and a lot more.

“The people at Amarillo College pretty much held my hand and it was just awesome,” she said. “AC and the program for adult students helped me make it work.”

Stephanie received her associate degree in nursing from AC in 2004, becoming a registered nurse employed first within the Northwest Texas Healthcare System and, for the past three years, at Hereford Regional Medical Center—Home Health Care.

She remembers her time as a student of nursing with great fondness and her capstone event—AC’s traditional Pinning Ceremony for graduating nurses—with emotion.

“When I stood up there and got pinned it was unbelievable,” she said. “It was very emotional. All anything is until you get there is a dream. The pinning was reality.”