Patricia McLean left Trinidad & Tobago and joined her father and sister in the U.S. when she was 16. “I hadn’t quite finished high school there, so I passed my GED here and went to Bronx Community College studying nursing,” she says.
“My mother had a career as a secretary in mind for me,” she remembers, but Ms. McLean’s path took a different turn. “I chose to become a registered nurse after the excellent pre- and post- natal care I received from all the staff at Harlem Hospital during my first pregnancy.”
Earning her bachelors and masters in nursing at Lehman College, McLean has worked in healthcare for more than 35 years.
For more than 25 years, she has worked in long-term care for older adults in community settings. She was inspired to go into this field when she saw so many of her Bronx neighbors going into nursing homes because their children couldn’t care for them.
“Where I was working, I even found I was caring for my neighbors,” she reports. “I love caring for older people.”
“When my mother became ill, she was placed in a nursing home and came to appreciate why I became a nurse and not a secretary,” says McLean
She is working as a nurse with special education students. “I’m on a hiatus, working now with the other end of the age spectrum,” she says, emphasizing, “I love being a nurse regardless of which end of the spectrum I’m with.”
After Ms. McLean’s mother died, she started the Marjorie Anita Andrews Nursing Scholarship awarded annually to a senior in a nursing program, a tribute to her mother.