Philicia Richmond marvels at the chain of events that led her to attend Jackson College and become a registered nurse and then a family nurse practitioner.
Richmond graduated from the nursing program in December 2009, and currently works as a nurse practitioner in Behavioral Health at Henry Ford Allegiance Health.
After working in the restaurant industry for years and considering a move to management, she decided that wasn’t what she wanted to do with her life. At first she wanted to go back to college and become a social worker, but her sister, who was a nurse, suggested she give nursing a try instead. Richmond first had to overcome her own self-doubt.
“I didn’t think I was smart enough to go into nursing,” she recalls. “I drove out to JC very nervous and was able to speak with (Dean) Chris Beacco, who helped me to meet with Kathy Walsh, director of nursing at that time, that day. When Walsh looked at my credits, she asked, ‘Why haven’t you applied yet?’ That made me feel good, my previous grades had been good enough. It was encouragement like that and other little things that kept happening that made me think JC is where I am supposed to go.
“And on the days when I kept thinking I’m never going to make it, something crazy would happen like I would get a great grade on a test or someone would give me a word of encouragement. It was one of those hard days that I was asked to speak on the Bart Hawley show with Kathy Walsh about the nursing program at JC.”
She is thankful for the opportunities that JC offered her, including working in the President’s Office as a work-study student, opportunities to speak at different functions like the Rawal Center for Health Professions opening and even being featured on the college billboard for JC.
“JC and the people there changed my life, on every level,” Richmond said. “The nursing faculty is phenomenal.”
Today she works as a nurse practitioner in Geriatric Psychiatry, after completing her master’s degree from Michigan State University. She worked as a registered nurse in the emergency room for a number of years, so the time she gets to spend with her patients is a nice change of pace.
“My life has been pretty amazing, considering all that I have overcome to get here. I’m in a great place, a place that I never thought I would get to and JC helped start that journey,” Richmond said.