Following Her Passion

Timeka Bates, 41, an OR nurse likes to call this season of her life a “Second Act.” Married for 21 years, the mother of three children ages 22, 12, and seven returned to school four years ago to obtain her nursing degree.

“After working in customer service I saw an opportunity to go back to school and decided nursing was my calling,” said Bates who works at IU Health University Hospital. “It wasn’t easy. That’s why I say it was a calling. Many people would have said there was no way but I didn’t quit.”

She landed a night job at the airport and spent every free minute studying and attending classes.

When her clinicals took her to the operating room, she knew that was the place she wanted to work. 

“It’s intense. I love the atmosphere and I love working with fantastic surgeons,” said Bates, who earned her degree in December and passed her boards in February.

“Being an older student, holding down a job, and having a family probably made me a better student. The family stayed organized with a white board that showed daily meals and activities.

“I couldn’t have done it without the support of my husband and family,” said Bates. “They wanted me to become a nurse and they were extremely accommodating. My children are proud of me and I tell them, ‘if your heart isn’t into it you won’t achieve it.’ My heart was into becoming a nurse. There were roadblocks, there always will be, but this is my passion.”

-- T.J. Banes


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