CORPUS CHRISTI – Registered Nurse Colleen Eaves, who will graduate on August 8 with a Master of Science in Nursing Leadership degree from Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi, knew she wanted to be a nurse from an early age.
“From childhood, science – especially biology – has been intuitive for me,” said Eaves. “I’ve always believed nursing is an art and a science. The capacity to care for others is just as important as scientific knowledge.”
Eaves, a first-generation college graduate, grew up in Orange Grove, Texas, the youngest of three children. Her sister, Tiffany, is also a nurse. Eaves is married, and the mother of two children, James, 10, and Dalilah, 5.
“My children and husband are my world, and juggling the demands of work, school, and family hasn’t been easy,” said Eaves. “I want to be Wonder Woman and do it all perfectly and all on my own, but I just can’t. Accepting that I’m not going to be the perfect ‘everything to everybody’ has been an important part of this learning experience.”
Eaves received her first university degree, a Bachelor of Science in Nursing, from Texas A&M-Corpus Christi in 2005. She has worked as a registered nurse in hospitals, clinics, and other health care settings since then, though she took some time off to raise her family. She took this last summer off to focus on her most recent degree, which she completed as an online student.
“Resigning from my position was difficult for me, because I really loved my job, but I had to make school a priority,” said Eaves. “I’ve had so much support from the faculty here at A&M-Corpus Christi. When I was discouraged, all of my professors were there for me, to answer questions and motivate me to continue.” Eaves reports that her graduating GPA is a 3.9.
Eaves says she has always found inspiration all around her: from family and friends, from her professors, and even from a nurse practitioner who cared for her many years ago.
“She was knowledgeable and treated me with respect, kindness, and compassion,” said Eaves. “After I met her, I told myself, ‘I want to be like her. This is how I want my patients to feel.’”
After graduation, Eaves plans to stay in Corpus Christi and find a nursing position incorporating quality, informatics, and education. She’s even considered coming back to campus to work in the College of Nursing and Health Sciences, or to earn another degree.
“I have contemplated continuing on for my Doctor of Nursing Practice or Ph.D., but would like to wait until my children are a bit older,” she said about her future. “For right now, I’m happy to finish what I started. I’m full of positivity, and hope to set fire to the world with my energy.”