Mary Baker, MSN, RN, CNS, FNP-BC, BPHN-BC
Co-Director, Student Healthcare Projects; Lecturer
How did you become interested in Nursing?
I have always been interested in social justice issues since I was a teenager. Working at the clinics combines two goals: 1. Providing healthcare for those that would not otherwise receive it and 2) providing an environment that nursing students and nurse practitioner students can learn about working with underserved populations. It provides the students an opportunity to break down stereotypes and fear and humanize the people we work with.
What type of research are you doing?
I am working with Dr. Susan Andera on a project that looks at the differences in attitude towards vulnerable populations between nursing students who work at the clinics and those that do not.
What inspired you to choose Nursing?
When I was in my 20’s I was diagnosed with melanoma and ovarian cancer in the same year. The nurses that I worked with made a huge difference in a difficult time in my life. Being a single mom at the time, I was not able to pursue that dream until much later. When I had the opportunity to go to nursing school I took it. I love being a nurse.
What do you hope students take away from your classes (or clinic) at the end of each semester?
What is the biggest challenge in your job?
Having sufficient funds to provide services for our patients
What is the greatest reward of your job?
Working with the students and providing care to the underserved
What would your colleagues be surprised to learn about you?
My father was in the Air Force and by the time I was 18, I had lived in 15 different homes. We moved every year. I did not go to kindergarten and skipped a grade in school but went to 10 different schools by the time I had graduated from high school.
What do you enjoy doing when you’re not working?
I love being a grandmother and taking road trips.
What’s the best part about working at CSUSM?