JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – Jessica Daniels has been a registered nurse for six years. The single mother of three works in a Jackson nursing home.
“Sometimes I feel like I was born to serve others, I guess, that’s what makes me happy, when others are happy,” explained Daniels. Her path to becoming a nurse took a long time and it wasn’t easy.
“We were homeless when we moved back from Arkansas. So a friend of ours, mine, let us stay with her, and I knew I had to do something. Be able to support my kids, because I was all they had left at that point.”
Daniels got her GED, went to Hinds Community College for two years and then applied to nursing school.
“After seven times of being turned down, I was accepted and started in 2010.”
It took Daniels 11 times to pass the nursing exam. When she did pass, she scored 200 more points than she needed. Her children cheered her on the entire time. She never thought of quitting.
“I knew they depended on me. And if I didn’t do it then, no one else was going to do it. So, I knew I had to do it and I would always tell myself, ‘It could be worse. You have to keep your head up and keep pushing. Take it day by day and keep going.'”
Daniels is a well liked and respected member of the nursing home staff. She gives more than just medical care to her patients.
“I had a woman that was dying of cancer here, and she didn’t have any family. So, there would be days I would just sit by her bed and hold her hand and just be there for her. And show her she was loved.”
Daniels’ desire to give her children a better life than she had growing up motivates her to keep going. She has these words for anyone who finds themselves thinking their situation is impossible: “You can do it. You can do it no matter what the situation. You can do it.”