#WCW - Meet Tanisha Terry, BSN-RN

Meet Tanisha Terry, BSN-RN. She is currently a travel nurse in the U.S. Virgin Islands. Along with being a badass nurse, she has a blog titled Black Girl, White Coats and can be found on Instagram at @xoxotanish. Read her feature below on why she decided to pursue a career in nursing and her journey thus far!

Why did you choose a career in health care?

I chose my career in healthcare after having the pleasure of caring for my grandfather in his last days. Nurses are the heart of healthcare, so it seemed like the perfect fit! 

Have you always wanted to work in health care?

When I was younger, I wanted to to be a dolphin trainer. That all changed after having the honor of ushering my sweet grandfather to heaven. That experience taught me how precious life is, and I knew I wanted to be apart of something so big. I think it’s extremely ironic how I was inspired by that experience and now as a newborn nurse, I attend deliveries and am able to celebrate new life everyday! 

What motivated you to become a Registered Nurse versus other careers in the medical field?

My mother is a nurse as well. Growing up, I witnessed her enjoy her life, raise her kids, and be a great wife while serving God’s people. I knew that nursing allowed her the flexibility to do all these things, and I admired that. 

What advantages do you think Registered Nurses have versus other medical professions (MDs, NPs, PAs, etc.)?

As nurses we are at the bedside more than any other healthcare professional. We are able to be with our patients from the time they are admitted until the time they are discharged; that is a blessing I don't take for granted. We are often times the biggest advocate for our patients. Since we are so heavily involved in their care, our recommendations are well respected. 

How long have you been a travel nurse, and why did you choose travel nursing versus working in an outpatient setting or in the hospital?

I recently embarked on my travel nursing journey this month. Travel nursing was always something I wanted to do. I originally planned to start traveling in 2015, but I was in a serious relationship at the time, and he didn't want me to travel. I chose our relationship over my dreams (never again). As a travel nurse I still work in the hospital setting. I’m able to do what I love all while seeing the world!

Do you struggle with seeing ill newborns everyday, and if so, how do cope with it?

Honestly I don’t. Science has advanced so much that we are able to do some pretty amazing things! I don't struggle with it nearly as much as I look forward to the end results. Seeing a baby born extremely premature go home happy and healthy with their family is so rewarding. On the contrary, it absolutely breaks my heart to loose a baby or when a woman can't conceive. That will never be easy for me. I’m leaving the bedside when I become numb to those feelings. 

What was one of the biggest challenges while you were in nursing school and how did you ultimately overcome them?

One of my biggest challenges was giving up my entire college experience. In nursing school I didn't have the freedom of going to campus events, parties, or joining many organizations that I wanted to….because I was grinding! While it was tough to see other people having fun doing all these things, I overcame the temptation by surrounding myself with likeminded individuals. I attribute much of my success to my two nursing school best friends, Cece and Tamara. They kept me grounded and always encouraged me to choose my studies over temporary satisfaction. 

What advice would you give to other minority students who are looking to pursue a career in nursing?

The best advice I could give is to never let anyone or anything stand in the way of your dreams. What’s for you is for YOU, and there is nothing that anyone can say or do to change that. You have to believe that. I said that to myself countless times in nursing school. When I faced challenging situations I simply accepted it, faced it, and overcame it. There was no time to stay down when I had dreams to achieve. 

What challenges have you faced as being a minority in the medical field?

The biggest and most disappointing “challenge” that I have faced has been the surprising attitude I get when people find out I am a young, black, BSN, RN, and I run a successful blog and brand. Some people are uncomfortable with all this #BlackGirlMagic, but it’s here to stay! 

What is the inspiration behind your blog "Black Girls, White Coats," and what message do you hope to portray with your blog?

My friends and other black women in the healthcare profession were the ultimate inspiration behind my blog. I wanted to create a platform where we could come together to support and connect with one another. Black Girls White Coats is a community for the everyday #girlboss to inspire and be inspired. Through my blog, I want women to know that they are beautiful and powerful beyond measure! 

Do you have any aspirations for the future, and do you think you'll always be a travel nurse?

I know that I won’t be a travel nurse forever, this is only temporary. I have dreams of being an awesome wife and mom someday. I pray that during that season of my life, I’m done traveling so frequently and I’m able to give my family the attention they deserve. I have many aspirations for the future; I want to do it all! I want to further my education, I want to be an expert at my craft, and I aspire to be one of those badass nurses on the unit that everyone uses as a resource. I feel like I have accomplished a lot in my lifetime but I am just getting started; I have barley touched the surface! 

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