Anita was born and raised in India. She found her calling in nursing and completed her Bachelor of Science in Nursing in 1999 from Manipal Academy of Higher Education in Karnataka, India. Anita worked in a neonatal intensive care unit and also taught nursing students at the same college she graduated from. After marrying in 2001, Anita moved to Shimla, India, and began working in medical-surgical nursing. After her first child was born, Anita decided to apply to work abroad.
In June 2004, Anita and her family moved to Harlow, Essex, United Kingdom. Anita took employment at Princess Alexandra Hospital where she worked for 12 years in medical, surgical and orthopaedic nursing.
Anita moved to Broomfield Hospital in Chelmsford, Essex, United Kingdom, where she worked on another orthopaedic nursing unit. She briefly worked in the intensive care unit but went back to orthopaedics. Anita said, “I went wherever the nursing need was. I remained flexible and willing to serve.”
O’Grady Peyton International contacted Anita in 2018 and asked if she would be interested in working in the U.S. as a nurse. Anita answered with a resounding yes.
In February 2020, O’Grady Peyton International recognized Anita with its 2019 Customer Service Award.
How does nursing in the U.S. compare to other countries you’ve practiced in?
“I find the concept of nursing to be pretty universal with a few differences in standards of practice. The nurse to patient ratio is one of the biggest differences I see. In the U.K. the ratio could be up to one nurse for 16 patients.
“The documentation systems are quite different. In the U.K., documentation of care and medications are all still on paper. In the U.S. everything is done electronically which I find faster and safer. I now know why they made me take those computer exams prior to coming to work here!
“I am also finding that I have more independence in my practice than in other countries. I am collaborating more with physicians and other health care professionals which increases confidence and practice.
“I also love the teamwork here. Even when the job is tough, the team works together. It gives me great joy and even if I make a difference in one person’s life, I am happy.”
How was the support when you arrived in the U.S. to work as a nurse?
“I was initially very nervous about starting but on the first day I met Dennis Harris, Jr., MSN, MA Ed, RN-BC, NE-BC, my new nurse manager, and Kendall Scott, MSN, RN-BC, NPD-BC, my new nurse educator. I immediately felt good and well supported. They were so kind from the beginning. I also have great colleagues at ChristianaCare that make it so much easier.”
What is something that really stood out to you about nursing in the U.S.?
“In coming to the U.S. I have realized the importance of nurse practitioners and all advanced practice registered nurses. We have a nurse practitioner on our unit, Vani Ramdoss, MSN, APRN, FNP-BC, RN-BC, who has been an exceptional influence for me and my practice. Vani encourages and supports us to improve our practice so the patients are safer.
“I also really like how ChristianaCare emphasizes love and excellence in their work. It’s not something that is talked about at other places. Excellence, to me, means utilizing the most current evidence-based care. It also means continuously improving our work, to not get stuck in what we learned a long time ago but instead to use the latest information. Love, to me, means compassion; practicing compassion in my care. Quality improvement, evidence-based practice and compassion are so important to nursing and my practice.”
What was it like to win the award from O’Grady Peyton International?
“Winning the award was a complete surprise to me. I just finished a night shift and went to our morning huddle before leaving. Dennis was talking about recognition and caring. There was also someone from O’Grady Peyton talking about caring but I didn’t recognize anyone. Next thing I know, they focused in on me and told me ‘Congratulations! O’Grady Peyton selected you to receive the 2019 Customer Service Award!’
“I was so humbled and speechless to receive this award. I never would have thought I would be recognized for the hard work I put in to nursing and in caring for people. I really feel like I was just doing my job but to be recognized for customer care was special. I feel like I have been blessed a lot.”
What does the Year of the Nurse and Midwife mean to you?
“This year, working as a nurse around the world and working here in the U.S. is so special to me. I grew up in Bengaluru, India in an orphanage. Someone showed me the greatest kindness when I was a child and God called me to nursing so I can show that same kindness to the people I care for now. I grew up in Sunshine Home that was started in 1979 by Mrs. Dorothy Watts, a missionary from the United States.”
“I was able to grow up with over 70 kids in a Christian orphanage thanks to the kindness of Mrs. Watts and Sunshine Home. I feel like a role model for the orphanage in terms of achieving great things and now I want give credit back and support them.
“They taught me to continue to do your best. It’s not about the money you have, it’s about giving back with a caring attitude. No matter what profession you are in, do it with kindness and generosity. Nursing is the best profession where you can be a human, give kindness and compassion, and expect nothing in return. That’s what the Year of the Nurse and Midwife mean to me.
“I would also really like to give special credit to Dennis, my current Nurse Manager. I really like the leader in him. If you have a great leader who can see the patient and staff perspective and put it all together, you can achieve great things.
“I also have to give credit to my husband; he loves me for who I am, and we have built a beautiful family and life together. He has supported me all along the way.
“The last thing I’ll mention is a card that O’Grady Peyton International gave me. On the card it said, ‘good things just take time.’ This has been true throughout my entire life and I now have so many good things in my life. I am so happy this is the Year of the Nurse and Midwife.”