Thrive by IU Health

July 20, 2023

From PCA to nurse: Two women share similar journeys at IU Health West

IU Health West Hospital

From PCA to nurse: Two women share similar journeys at IU Health West

Written by Emma Avila,, writer for IU Health’s Indianapolis Suburban Region

Meghan Sanders (left) and Alexes Strickland (right) are both nurses who started as patient care assistants on the exact same unit.

Meghan Sanders and Alexes Strickland are both nurses on the third floor Medical-Surgical unit at IU Health West. They both started as patient care assistants (PCAs) and have spent their careers at the hospital on the same unit where they started.

Meghan began as a PCA in May of 2019 and Alexes started in July of 2021. They both worked in that role as they completed nursing school, which gave them experience on the unit and helping patients before they graduated.

“I thought that it would aid in my learning while in school,” Alexes explained. “I also think all nurses should have some PCA experience before becoming a nurse. It helps you appreciate your techs in the future.”

Staying on the unit was an easy decision for both women. They appreciate the team atmosphere and management style.

“We all work so well together and really get to know each other on a personal level,” Meghan said. “We as a team develop friendships outside of work and we all lean on one another because we know we can and that it will be reciprocated.”

“I learned things as a PCA from both nurses and doctors that have shaped me into the nurse I am today,” Alexes added. “Also, the continued support while I was in school to become a nurse was comforting.”

With such similar journeys, Meghan and Alexes have one more thing in common–they love taking care of patients.

“My favorite part of my job is when I’m having a bad day and my patients still look at me and tell me that I have done something for them to make them feel better. It’s the little things,” Alexes said.

“I take pride in treating my patients like I would want my family to be treated and treating my coworkers as teammates, so knowing that I made someone's day a little better or a little easier is my favorite part of the job,” Meghan added.

If you like being a part of team that takes care of others and one another, IU Health or Riley Children’s Health could be the path for you. For a full list of open roles, visit