Through hardship and struggle, one Valley nurse is being recognized as a leader in her field. But she could use some community support to get there.
Jessica Robinson is a Registered Nurse in the psychiatric ward at St. Elizabeth's Hospital who's being honored as one of the top ten nurse heroes in Ohio.
"A couple days ago, I get this email. Because I'm always checking my email, I'm like ok, from the Cleveland Cavaliers, that's not something that comes in my inbox every day," she said. "I found out that someone anonymously nominated me."
Robinson is one of ten finalists in the Nurse Hero online poll. Robinson and the nine other finalists will be honored during "Nurse Night 2019" at the March 2nd Cleveland Cavaliers game.
All ten nurses will take the court during halftime for a special ceremony.
But one grand prize winner will get the royal treatment, with four courtside seats during the game.
"I'm really excited, you know, I love basketball and to be honored for doing something that I love while watching something that I love," said Robinson.
The work to get where she is now has been anything but easy, said Robinson.
Jessica started her career as a state tested nurse aide while attending Sharon Regional School of Nursing. Tragically, she lost both of her parents by age 25 and took on the responsibility of raising her younger twin brothers.
"Literally overnight I was thrown into ok I need to make sure I'm not just responsible for my self, I'm responsible for them. They're my twin brothers and they're five years younger than me," said Robinson.
After her mother's death, Jessica did not pass the NCLEX the first time.
She started out working as an aide, first in a nursing home, then at Sharon Regional. Robinson continued working, eventually landing a position as an aide at St. Elizabeth. Robinson said she realized she had all of the knowledge she already needed- but that she lacked confidence in herself.
She gave herself six months to work hard and study, before retaking, and passing, her nursing exam.
Robinson says she uses her parents as inspiration, a force which drives her to spread compassion to all of her patients.
"If it's a mom, I like to treat them how I would treat my mom," she said.
Since then Jessica returned to school and is currently a Mental Health Nurse Practitioner student at Walden University while working as a psychiatric nurse at the hospital.
Robinson said she feels that by helping psychiatric patients she's able to make an impact on people's lives who might get overlooked.
She continues to work full time and her younger brothers are now married with their own families.
In addition, Robinson is co-owner of a clothing line designed for nurses call Pill Apparel.
The clothing features clever slogans and saying designed to push the culture of nursing.
Robinson says she now knows the value of the hard work her parents put in, and can appreciate that they passed on a lesson in responsibility to her.
"I think they would be proud," she said holding back tears. "I think they would be proud of where I am and what we're doing. I think they would be happy. Especially my dad. He was a huge fan of anything Cleveland. Any sports team that came out of Cleveland he was sold. I know he'd be sitting ther, probably with something with my name on it, saying that's his daughter."
Robinson's biggest piece of advice to others comes as no surprise- persevere.
"Don't let anybody in your life tell you you can't do it. No matter what hardship you face, no matter what kind of thing tries to come and block you. You can do it, you can achieve your goals you can be that nurse. And sometimes it means just putting the blinders on and going for your dreams," she said.
Robinson is still eligible to be the grand prize winner for the Nurse Hero Night. To vote for her, click here.