Nurse Flor, a Dream Come True

nursing graduate and AltaMed administrators

AltaMed launched the Nursing Pathways Collaborative to “grow our own” nursing professionals and educate the next generation of Latino nurses who will be a beacon of hope for underserved communities. 

Earlier this month, we celebrated the remarkable achievement of the first cohort of graduates from the AltaMed Nursing Collaborative. These 22 new nurses are a testament to the program’s success, and their individual stories inspire others who wish to follow this path. 

Flor Medina-Trejo, an AltaMed nurse and proud graduate, shared her personal journey during the graduation ceremony. Her story, filled with challenges and triumphs, resonated with the audience, reminding all in attendance that the path to success is not always straight or easy.   

Flor came to the United States at 12 to pursue the American Dream. Growing up, she knew she wanted a career taking care of others; however, she says, “I was not fortunate to pursue college right after high school due to my immigration status at the time. The Dream Act did not exist back then, so I had no way of receiving any financial aid.” 

Life continued for Flor; she entered the workforce, and school had to take a backseat.

When she reached her mid-thirties, working as a baker, Flor questioned if this was what she wanted to do for the rest of her life. She gained the courage to quit her job and returned to school to pursue a licensed vocational nursing (LVN) degree. 

“Getting into nursing was always in the back of my mind,” says Flor. “I liked the nurturing part of it, and I’m not going to lie, I also liked the stability it would provide.” 

After graduating as an LVN, she began her nursing journey at the AltaMed El Monte clinic. When she learned about the opportunity to participate in the new Nursing Pathways program, she knew immediately that she would apply. 

Last year, Flor joined the first cohort of students to enroll in the ACC program. Although she struggled along the way, she persevered with support from her daughter, her AltaMed supervisor, and her team.

nursing graduates
nursing graduate with family

The Nursing Collaborative provides students access to affordable, world-class nursing education, including clinical training in AltaMed’s community health setting. Often, health care professionals settle where they train. The experience of being mentored by AltaMed health care professionals will likely inspire and empower nurses-to-be to follow their passion for caring for communities in need.

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