As Zona Bailey looks out at the faces of the nursing students she teaches at Scottsdale Community College, she feels as though she has come full circle, sharing nursing knowledge with students of the next generation.
It wasn’t long ago that Bailey, looking to improve herself and her employment opportunities, returned to college in her late 20s, taking general studies classes at Mesa Community College.
“My experience at MCC was very positive,” Bailey said. “I had always been interested in nursing and after I took an EMT class through MCC, I was sure I wanted to pursue a nursing degree.”
While at MCC, chemistry professor Jim Giles inspired her in the sciences. Also inspiring were the students she worked with in her job in Student Life & Leadership.
“The students I worked with inspired me as they worked to achieve their academic dreams,” she said. “Ironically, I occasionally run into some of those students who are now nurses.”
Bailey completed her Associate in Arts degree and the Arizona General Education Curriculum (AGEC) at MCC in 2003 and went on to complete an Associate in Science degree in nursing from Phoenix College. While working, she continued her education and received a master’s degree with an emphasis on Public Health from Grand Canyon University in 2015.
Today she works multiple jobs: as a registered nurse at Phoenix Children’s Hospital in the perioperative and post anesthesia care units; a registered nurse in adult telemetry at HonorHealth Scottsdale Shea Medical Center; and a nursing instructor at Scottsdale Community College.
Bailey gives back to the local community through her job at Phoenix Children’s Hospital, where every three months they donate backpacks stuffed with clothes and toys to children in the foster care system. They also donate supplies to community outreach for homeless children.
Her goals for the future include becoming a patient advocate and perhaps more teaching. She enjoys relaying the experiences she’s had with patients to the students she teaches.
“I remind them to be compassionate and remember these are stressful times for their patients,” Bailey said. “There’s more to nursing than medication. Nurses need to include the family in the care process, not just the patients.