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All the Right Reasons

Audrey Edgar went back to school to graduate as Valedictorian of her nursing class and achieve her dream, and now works at San Luis Valley Health as a registered nurse.

This is part of SLV Health’s “Grow Your Own” Series, Featuring Audrey Edgar

SLV Health Registered Nurse Audrey Edgar recently accomplished a nursing goal she set for herself more than five years ago.

Born and raised in Utah, she initially wanted to be a Veterinarian, but started migrating towards nursing in high school.

“It’s actually a funny story,” she said about her choice of career. “I took a career test in high school repeatedly, and every time it said my top occupational fields were a mortician, a taxidermist or a nurse. I liked the idea of taking care of living things, and spending time taking care of my grandpa who was losing his battle with Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma made me realize I felt I was meant for this.”

She went to Provo College in Utah and became a Certified Medical Assistant in 2012. But after being hired by SLV Health in 2013 to work in the family practice clinic as a CMA, she knew she wasn’t done yet.

“I always knew that I wanted to be a registered nurse,” Edgar explained. “I went to get my CMA certification because I didn’t believe in myself at the time that I could make it through a rigorous nursing school program with a small child. Working as a CMA only solidified in my mind where I wanted to be, and I knew that I needed to continue my education to reach my goals.”

Misty Palacios, SLV Health Clinical Support Manager, saw Edgar’s potential as soon as she began working in the Primary Care clinic. “She caught on quickly and was eager to learn and be her best every day,” Palacios said. “What I remember most is her persistence. She grew to be one of the best CMAs we have had in the practice.”

So Edgar went back to school, attending Trinidad State Junior College in Alamosa and graduating as the Valedictorian of her nursing class in 2017, achieving her dream of becoming a registered nurse. “I feel very accomplished. I graduated with honors, all while trying to work and take care of a family with young children.”

She is now employed as a registered nurse in the ICU unit at SLV Health Regional Medical Center in Alamosa, starting as a nurse intern before graduation from TSJC and passing her boards a few weeks later.

Edgar is thankful to the support she received along the way. “Thanks goes to my husband, for always encouraging me in pursuing what I am passionate about. I also want to thank my family for their patience and love, and to my coworkers – my hospital family – for educating me and getting me to where I am today.”

She especially wanted to thank the patients she cares for, saying, “They are literally the reason I do this.”

Palacios agreed, adding, “Our patients, families and community are fortunate to have Audrey taking care of them. She is a nurse for all the right reasons.”

For those considering the same path, Edgar offers a few words of advice. “I always tell people the years will go by no matter what,” she said. “You can either sit and stay where it is comfortable and no change will happen, or you can dig in, endure a few hard years of school, and slay your goals to come out ahead.”