Pending Graduation is a Big “Dill” for Future Healthcare Management Student

Pending Graduation is a Big “Dill” for Future Healthcare Management Student

April 1, 2024
Contact:  Rhonda Jessup, Director of Public Relations

JACKSONVILLE – Leydis Douglas came to America in 2000.  The daughter of Cuban immigrants, Douglas credits her parents for instilling an incredible work ethic and a belief that education is the key to success.

“My parents have always emphasized that education is something that can never be taken away and that you are never too old to learn something new,” Douglas said.

As a sophomore in high school, Douglas was selected to be part of a five-semester nursing program.  Once she graduated, she took her national board exams, passed, and immediately started working as a nurse in the largest jail in the state of New Mexico.

“This opportunity allowed me to get my foot in the door into healthcare,” she said.

Douglas worked for two years in the prison system.  She assessed patients, implemented proper pharmacological and non-pharmacological treatments, as well as worked with psychologists, psychiatrists, social workers, and counselors to provide holistic care to the prison’s psychiatric population. She then worked for several years providing service as a pediatric private duty nurse, in supervisory roles within a senior living community, and in hospice care.

Wanting to continue her education, Douglas enrolled at the University of New Mexico taking courses towards her BS degree in psychology and biology. However, after nearly eight years of bedside care, Douglas felt a pull in a different direction.  In May 2020, she moved to North Carolina to accompany her husband, Johnathon, who is a member of the United States Marine Corps.  She still felt a calling in the medical field but desired a position that would help her advocate for her colleagues, patients, and the healthcare system as a whole.

“That is why I chose to go into healthcare management,” she said.  “I look forward to a future where healthcare advocacy proper and profound leadership is a standard that must be met.”

Living in Richlands, NC, Douglas heard about the University of Mount Olive’s (UMO) online healthcare management program for working adults.  She enrolled in the fall of 2021. The 26-year-old works full-time, manages her collegiate coursework, and helps raise her 12-year-old sister, Lidis, who is her inspiration to excel.  “My sister looks up to me as being her role model, but she is mine too,” Douglas said.   “My sister’s charisma, independence, daredevil personality, and the ability to set great boundaries are enigmatic. She is my purpose for continuing to strive for my future goals because I want to provide her a better life.”

Douglas credits her husband for being her biggest encourager.  “Johnathon is my rock,” she said.  “He reminds me to take care of myself and he supports me in all that I do.”

On track to graduate in April of 2024, Douglas has her sights set on continuing to climb the education and corporate ladders. “I wish to pursue my master’s degree in healthcare management, and eventually my doctorate in healthcare administration,” she revealed. “This skillset will provide me with impactful leadership qualities including problem-solving and holistic approaches to thrive in today’s dynamic healthcare environment.”

Douglas feels UMO is preparing her for her future goals by allowing her to explore options that still reside in healthcare but that focus on areas not as frequently discussed or advertised.  “The University has great advisors and fantastic professors who are making a world of difference in my education. It takes a village, and UMO has proudly taken on that role.”

Douglas’ advice to other adults thinking about returning to school is, “The only thing stopping you is yourself. UMO offers opportunities and help every step of the way. If the thought of going back to school is perpetually living in your mind, then take that as your reason to go back. Never second-guess yourself.  If you believe a course of action you want to take is the right one for you, then you should go for it! Gut feelings are usually spot on.”

Douglas is planning to make a celebration out of her graduation.  “Several of my family and friends will be traveling to attend my graduation and we all plan to go the Pickle Festival the day afterward,” she said.  “There are several pickle-lovers in the family, so that weekend will be a big DILL.”

The University of Mount Olive is a private institution rooted in the liberal arts tradition with defining Christian values. The University was founded by the Convention of Original Free Will Baptists. For more information, visit www.umo.edu.