“Sometimes you want to do something, but God has something even better for you. And sometimes you find yourself doing what you always wanted to do, but in a completely different way.” So says Benevolent Walker, 24, a nurse that her employer and nominator, Piedmont Fayette Hospital, calls a “rising star.”
“Even though she’s only been a nurse for two years, many of our nursing leaders believe the sky is the limit for Benevolent,” says Michael Boylan. “We’re looking forward to following her career at the hospital.”
Born and raised in Indianapolis, Benevolent intended to be a teacher. Then she took anatomy and physiology as a high school senior and suddenly realized she really liked science – and was good at it.
“Find out who you are and who God wants you to be. Then be your best self and look for ways to help others be their best selves, too.”
“That class completely changed my perspective,” she says. “I’d never thought about nursing before, but suddenly I realized it’s what I wanted to do.”
She enrolled in Albany State here in Georgia and, when a friend went to work at Piedmont Henry and raved about their residency program, Benevolent knew she wanted to try it. She was accepted to the program at Piedmont Fayette and then accepted a job when she graduated.
Now, she volunteers as her floor’s safety coach and co-chairs the hospital’s Nursing Shared Governance. Last year, she was asked to be part of the new Dedicated Education Unit, which provides mentorship for student nurses. Six months later, when it came time to choose a charge nurse for the unit, her colleagues enthusiastically voted for Benevolent.
“It’s a really special unit and I’m so honored to serve as charge nurse,” she says. “Our student nurses are completing their senior practicums and they actually really work the floors. They chart, they spend at least four months doing 12-hour shifts just as they would in a hospital, and they learn right alongside us. And we mentor one-on-one, which is really unusual. The average clinical instructor has 14 to 20 students, so it can be tough to make sure everyone gets what they need to be prepared for future jobs. Our program is very focused and it’s great for retention. And, of course, here I am teaching, just like I originally thought I would – just in a different way!”
When she’s not working, Benevolent volunteers as a steward at her church and takes barre and Pilates classes. She loves to travel and is currently planning a Caribbean cruise. But her passion is her job and she’s incredibly grateful for the high school science class that changed her path.
“My question to myself, every day, is ‘how can I be the best nurse I can possibly be?’,” she says. “If there’s something new, I want to learn it. It’s all about the patients.”
Meet Fayette Woman Magazine’s 2018 Women to Watch. From writing a book for kids with ADHD to showing us how to help the sick and homeless, the girls on the cover of this year’s Women to Watch issue are truly astounding! Three of them have already formed nonprofits. One is a charge nurse and mentor at Piedmont Fayette Hospital. They’re all on a path to a brilliant future, fortified with a determination to help others, and they all have wise words to share with people of all ages. Read on to learn more about these dynamos and many other amazing young women in our community. You’ll be inspired!