Quiana Scott ‘11 lived her life as a caregiver to her family and then to patients in the medical field for over 18 years. Her journey to get her MSN hasn’t been traditional, but it’s one she wouldn’t trade for the world. Read more about Quiana’s Davenport experience and nursing career.
Tell us about yourself.
I had my daughter in 1999 and decided at that time I wanted a career, not just dead-end jobs. I went to Ross Medical Education Center in 2001 and was a medical assistant for seven years. Then I had my second child and decided to continue with my medical education.
I started at Davenport in 2007 at the Fulton Street location and was in the group that transitioned to the Lettinga campus. We were the second class to graduate from the nursing program. After working a couple of years as a BSN, I decided to get my MSN in 2013. After graduating in 2016, I became a family nurse practitioner and am currently working in a family practice/residency clinic with Spectrum Health.
What made you choose nursing as your profession?
I was the caregiver in my family and the only one to go into the medical field. Growing up alongside my mother, I was able to help take care of my grandmother and uncle who were both ill. So, I thought I would give medical assisting a try. I became the nosy assistant, always asking questions and wanting to know “why”.
I told myself if I liked what I was doing I would stay put, but if I hungered for more, I would keep moving up. That was how I decided to earn my BSN and then how my MSN came into being.
What has your professional journey been like? Where did you get your start and how did you end up where you are?
When I was an MA, I worked at MMPC in a doctors’ office. One particular physician became my mentor and a huge supporter. She pushed me to go back to school for my BSN and MSN.
I wanted more autonomy with patients. I wanted to take the information I learned from nursing and use it to communicate with my patients to better help them understand their care plan. I also love being in an office setting. Unlike triage, when I would help a patient and then they’d be on their way, I get to build a rapport with my patients. I can ask them about their family, loved ones and pets, and keep building their trust.
What’s “a day in the life” of a family nurse practitioner in the family practice/residency clinic at Spectrum Health?
At the beginning of each day, I review my inbox for any labs, x-rays or diagnostic tests and answer patient messages. Then I start my appointments. I can have anywhere from 12 to 20 patients a day with an array of health issues. No day is the same.
My time is filled with seeing patients, deciding which treatment or tests need to be ordered and what follow-up appointments need to be made. Then at the end of the day, I answer phone calls or messages from patients.
Is there anyone you’d like to give credit to who helped you in your journey.
I made it through my education with a lot of support and prayers from my children, parents and siblings…honestly, my entire family (near and far). We are all extremely close. There were times when I was in school when my children and I would sit down at the kitchen table and do our homework together. They have been so patient with me and they have supported my dreams. I cannot give enough credit to my family for all of their help during this journey.
Tell us why you picked Davenport University.
I grew up on the southeast side of Grand Rapids and I liked that everything was centrally located to home. I was accepted and started my BSN at the University of Detroit Mercy, but once I was accepted at DU, I transferred. It was a combination of the affordability, that I had an uncle who graduated from the accounting program at DU and the proximity to home.
What was your experience like at DU? Did you go full-time or part-time? Which classes did you enjoy the most? How about professors?
As I continued each year at DU, I transitioned from part-time to full-time. I enjoyed Dr. Amy Stahley’s classes. The class of 2011 was really close. The majority of us were older, so we came together in different ways — bake sales, touring the Aeromed helicopter and hosting our own Thanksgiving meal. Many of us are still in touch.
What are you passionate about in your career?
Helping those that are under-served. There is a big gap in knowledge, so using simpler terms in order to help a patient understand how their treatment can affect their health outcome is important. I want to build relationships with my patients, connect with them and let them know their health is my priority.
I also enjoy working with medical students in our office. They get to hear from someone who worked as a medical assistant, nurse and now a nurse practitioner. I give them insight into a nursing approach to treatment. They also keep me challenged and I learn from them as well.
Are you in your dream job? Are there any other accomplishments or next steps you see yourself making in the future on your career path? Have you thought of being an adjunct at DU?
I thought about being an adjunct but I don’t know how I can fit it into my schedule. A friend of mine is an adjunct in the nursing program at Davenport and she keeps trying to recruit me.
I do feel like I’m in my dream job. It was a long road to get here. I spent many nights crying and wondering if I was doing the right thing — being a single mother, working and going to school. But God was watching over me and there was never a time where a bill was unpaid or a utility shut off and my kids never had to share my burdens.
I wouldn’t trade my path here for anything, and I feel like I’m right where I want to be at my job. I look forward to going to work and I feel accepted, valued and supported there.
What do you do when you are not working – any hobbies, interests, passions?
I’ve been blessed to share my life with the love of my life and to spend quality time with my children. I was always so busy with school that now I cherish every moment I have with them. We enjoy game nights with family, traveling, spending time with our kids and going to the casino (not the kids).
Who inspires you in your work, life and/or volunteerism?
Seeing patients become successful. Making a difference without even knowing it*. Showing my kids that anything is possible. My mother is also an inspiration to me — she raised my sister and myself as a single parent, and her commitment inspires me.
*We approached Quiana for an interviewed based on a nomination from a DU alum who was her patient and received excellent care from her!
Talk about your family’s values.
Keeping God first and staying true to who you are, appreciating family, open communication, not taking anything for granted and being the best form of you that you can possibly be.
How would you like to be remembered?
As a caring and smiling person. Selfless and loving.