Vanessa Lozada’s journey began in Colombia, where she lived until she was 15. When she arrived in New Jersey, she didn’t speak English and more challenges were ahead when she moved to Texas.
But always, she knew she wanted to be a nurse.
“When I was little I loved taking care of wounds. I even enjoyed taking care of animals that were sick or hurt,” Lozada said.
With nursing in mind, she applied for a unit secretary job in the Emergency Department at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Plano shortly after she arrived in Texas in 2007.
“I had never been a secretary before. I had just had a baby. I just wanted to be a nurse and I knew if I got into a hospital it would help me,” she said.
Today, Lozada has worked every nursing job in the department, all the way to supervisor, her current position. Along the way, she earned both an associate’s and a bachelor’s degree in nursing, all through the Texas Health tuition reimbursement program.
“I’m just very grateful for Texas Health,” she said. “Texas Health really has paved the way for my success. If you want it, there's always a way, because we have so many resources.”
Lozada had always wanted to be a labor and delivery nurse, but she fell in love with the Emergency Department.
“Every day is something different,” she said. “And you get to take care of people from the moment they're born until they’re older. Zero to 105 — that was the oldest person I’ve taken care of. We know a little bit of everything. You feel like you really can function anywhere, no matter where you go.”
She earns high praise from her supervisor and was among 39 Texas Health Resources nurses named to the DFW Great 100 Nurses list this year.
“She’s a natural leader, well-respected by her colleagues,” said her supervisor, Scott Flockhart, clinical manager of the Emergency Department. “She’s fantastic clinically. The patients love her, physicians love working with her. She’s a great mentor to the staff and has a huge heart for everyone she comes in contact with.”
Added Lozada, “This is the American dream. I'm proof that someone who comes from a Third World country and has the drive and does the right things — good things happen to them.”
Tuition Reimbursement At a Glance
- Full-time and part-time benefits-eligible employees can participate.
- The program pays up to $5,250 a year for clinical degrees and up to $4,000 a year for non-clinical degrees.
- For additional information: https://behealthythr.org/other-benefits/tuition-reimbursement/.
About Texas Health Resources
Texas Health Resources is a faith-based, nonprofit health system that cares for more patients in North Texas than any other provider. With a service area that consists of 16 counties and more than 7 million people, the system is committed to providing quality, coordinated care through its Texas Health Physicians Group and 29 hospital locations under the banners of Texas Health Presbyterian, Texas Health Arlington Memorial, Texas Health Harris Methodist and Texas Health Huguley. Texas Health access points and services, ranging from acute-care hospitals and trauma centers to outpatient facilities and home health and preventive services, provide the full continuum of care for all stages of life. The system has more than 4,100 licensed hospital beds, 6,400 physicians with active staff privileges and more than 26,000 employees. For more information about Texas Health, call 1-877-THR-WELL, or visit www.TexasHealth.org.