When Ms. Lewis was growing up in her beloved close-knit island of Bequia — the second largest island in the Grenadines — she admired the influential role the public health nurses played in maintaining and prolonging the lives of the local people.
“I marveled at the respect they commanded. I loved the fact that they were involved in the intricacies of human life and the full life span — from the very beginning — birth, to the very end of life — death,” she says.
At the age of 13, she knew she would commit her life’s work to “the noble profession of nursing.”
And her greatest influence? “My mother embodied the most important and basic tenet of nursing — caring,” she says. “I was impressed by her empathy even in the most unnerving situations.
She was always willing to lend a helping hand even with limited resources.”
Her mother’s caring nature has served as the drive to help others in her own nursing career that spans 40 years.
In her home country of St. Vincent, Ms. Lewis received her initial nursing training and it was very community health focused. She undertook rigorous apprenticeships in the areas of maternity, pediatric, adult, and geriatric nursing.
After she migrated to the United States, she pursued advanced degrees including her BSN and MSN from SUNY Downstate.
She holds several certifications including medical-surgical nursing and public health nursing.
Now, Ms. Lewis draws on her years of education and practical experience in teaching the next generation of nurses as adjunct assistant professor at Medgar Evers College in the Department of Nursing.
Her favorite quote is: Seize the moment.