Photo: ELLE BOUTIQUE (Elle Medical Apparel available exclusively at Scrubs and Beyond)
Hi nurse fam,
My name is Brooke Hall, best known as @iambrookehall on Instagram, and I am so excited to share with you all my journey as a full time wife, mommy, nurse, and Instagram fashion model. My passion for fashion has driven me into an entire purpose that goes beyond my wildest expectations. Ever since I was a little girl I dreamed of becoming “famous”. I either wanted to become a singer, dancer, actress, model or whatever the case may be. I just wanted to make others happy with the talent and abilities I was given. However, life happens to most of us and I happened to become a mother and a nurse earlier in life than most! I had my first born son when I was sixteen years old, and became a nurse before the age of 20. I never wanted to become the statistic “teen mom”, I wanted to beat the norm, and show that I could make up for my choices, and own up to being a responsible young lady. I never wanted my son to have to go without, so I made a more realistic way for the both of us and that way was to become a nurse!
Becoming a spectacle at such a young age took away my confidence in almost every area of my life. I always felt that I was being looked at as a huge mistake and disappointment to the world. Becoming a nurse was the beginning of my new found confidence. I realized I had a purpose greater than I could see, as a mother and as a nurse. I was showing my son the importance of working hard for the impossible, and always striving for greatness to get the optimal satisfaction out of life. I was showing myself that I was not just a waste of space, I had meaning and purpose, and I found that purpose when I picked up those books each day to learn and when I put on those scrubs! Just think back to the first time you put your scrubs on. Whether you are a CNA, LPN, RN, MD, etc. knowing that you have the right to put on those scrubs and bring joy to other people’s lives daily will give you instant gratification and boost your self esteem.
Once you can conquer fear in your mind, you can conquer it in your life. I began to understand that the only person holding me back from my greatest potential was myself. I began to believe that anything was possible, if I would put forth all of my effort. After all, I was not the only one depending on my success. I was taking the burden away from others in my life who may have felt obligated to help me. I showed them I cared about my life, and they respected me even more for that. I had to remember that my choices were not just affecting me, they were affecting all of those around me. I wanted to set a great example for others, and have a happy ending to my not so happy beginning! I truly believe that we all have the opportunity to make something of ourselves regardless of our past, what we may not control, or have been subject to. Your destiny requires your cooperation, and the sooner you begin, the sooner you will see the results.
I was working as an STNA two days a month, yes I said a month, on an Assisted Living Plus unit while going through nursing school. In return, I wasn’t really bringing in much money, but luckily my grandmother believed in me, and let me stay with her while I was in school! I kept telling myself, “It’s okay if I am broke now, because I’ll never be broke again in my life after I become a nurse” ! lol. I think every negative force on this earth was being thrown at me while attempting to better myself. Doesn’t it seem like when you’re trying to do something right everything goes wrong? I was attending a very strict and strategic LPN program. This consisted of 11 months jam packed of all nursing content! Some days you may have 9 tests on one day, for 9 different subjects, and you better not fail one, because if your grade point average drops below a 79.5% you fail the whole entire program and have to start over! 3 months into my nursing program, my grandmother’s house caught fire, and it was a total loss. That means all of my books, scrubs, clothes, furniture, everything was destroyed! To top it off, I had a test to complete the next day, and it was going to be considered a 0, because we had NO “makeup” tests. This would drop my grade point average significantly. I believe they worked with me because of my circumstances, but I honestly cannot remember. This was seriously one of the hardest times of my life, but knowing that everything was against me, made me fight even harder! I wanted to become a nurse so bad that I didn’t care what wanted to stop me, I would continue, and I would become a nurse!
My grandfather almost died after that house fire, luckily my son, cousin, and grandmother made it out safely, but my grandfather was life flighted during that time to a burn clinic for critical care. The house burned down November 15th, and my grandfather woke up out of his coma on Thanksgiving day ! Talk about something to be thankful for. Several other crazy events happened even after the house burnt down, like a bad break up with an unnecessary boyfriend, my mother ended up in the hospital for mental health issues, my brother ended up having surgery because he got bit by a spider on his toe and the infection started eating away at his bone in his toe, and my other brother ended up overdosing and almost losing his life because of some drugs some kid gave him in high school ! I’m telling you all this not for sympathy, but to give you an understanding that unfortunate things do happen, and when they do, you have to stay strong and keep pushing through even the deepest of waters or you will easily drown. I could have let all of those mishap-endings affect my future, but I decided to grow with them, and continue to move forward despite my circumstances!
Needless to say, I finished nursing school 10th in my class, and I passed my NCLEX ! Shortly after I switched positions as an STNA to an LPN at my current job! I became an Assisted Living and Assisted Living Plus nurse. This consisted of 2 floors, and 2 med carts! 52 people total when census was full! Let me tell you how much of a challenge this was as a new grad, working this position 5 days a week, swing shift, while being a mother at the same time ! For any of you wondering how to get a starter position as a nurse, I highly recommend that you work as a healthcare professional prior to, such as CNA/STNA, dietary, housekeeping, etc. I found that was the easiest way for me to get a position working as a new hire grad! This will give the facility a background idea of how you work, your punctuality, and character as a person, etc. However, I don’t consider always staying at that job, because sometimes it’s difficult, to become a leader “boss” amongst your fellow career peers prior to advancement. I think every nurse that does this jump in positions, has to deal with the coworkers thinking you are “better than” them now, or however they may feel. But it’s more important to treat people the way you want to be treated, and with the respect you would want as well. I think it’s a bit easier however, for nurses to appreciate the CNA/STNA when they have already worked as one. What are your thoughts?
Not even a year after becoming a nurse, I met the love of my life. We married in a beautiful garden with close friends and family on a Friday in Ohio, and left Saturday for Las Vegas, NV. We arrived on a Monday, and started doing life together. My husband is a professional boxer and I needed to find work as a nurse. We practically moved to Las Vegas on faith alone without knowing where we might live, where we might work, etc. Coming from a very poor area we were not expecting all that much, and would have been thankful for just about anything. We stayed at a hotel for 5 days, and luckily signed a lease and found amazing employment opportunities by the end of those five days! I guess it was meant to be (: Of course because we were in a rush I had to take the first thing offered really, which was a night shift position as a private duty nurse. Remember I moved all the way across the map with a 3 hour time difference, and I was going to be working the night shift, which at the time was 7pm-7am, which for me was 10pm-10am ! This was so difficult and definitely a switch for me from working in Ohio 5 days (2pm-10pm) to three 12 hour shifts!
Working only 3 days gave me even more opportunity to find more things to do on the days I was not working. My husband and I love what we do, but we both always wanted to do more with fashion and entertainment. He has this eye for photography and fashion, and wanted to photograph me looking my best! Still suffering from mild self esteem issues and insecurities, my husband continued encouraging me to become my greatest, and I am so thankful for him! He saw beauty in me, before I could even see it in myself. He knew the potential that I had, and wasn’t ready to give up until he began to see it flourish. My confidence was developing in a whole new way. I started an instagram account from scratch in the fall of 2015, it became a success quickly, but then I got pregnant with my second son.
Little did I know pregnancy might almost kill me, literally. I ended up with a rare case of Hyperemesis Gravidarum. This condition affected my pregnancy from 6 weeks until the birth of my son. It peaked around 18 weeks, when I encountered my first hospitalization for one week because I was throwing up so much(30 to 50 times daily), It was affecting my electrolytes and various other lab levels like Potassium, Magnesium, etc. I ended up with a picc line and continuous zofran pump plus hydration fluids! I became the patient while also attempting to work as a nurse! Fun. I had home health therapy monitoring my pregnancy, and I was taking care of a home health private duty patient. Luckily my husband became my nurse, and really showed me the definition of “through sickness and in health” ! He would flush my line for me, and help me shower when I was too weak, he would help me get dressed, and support me mentally and emotionally through this rough time! I even threw up while giving birth, but it was a miracle once i delivered, the symptoms vanished almost by the next week!
Financially we struggled terribly through this time, but we made it! I delivered my baby on my birthday April 19th, 2016, and we are both happy and healthy this year getting ready to celebrate another birthday this April 2017! By May last year(not even a month after delivery), I was back at it, ready to take this fashion journey on by the horns! I didn’t care if I had my bit of baby fat left, I planned to show the world our keen view and perspective in the industry! If I could make it through these various trials and struggles in my life, I could surely make it at anything now! The more we encounter and go through, the easier it gets! You just “ Roll with the punches”, as my husband would say !
Day by day we watch our Instagram account grow, and continue to share our sense of revolutionary style with others! Fashion includes anything from nursing, casual, streetwear, classy, upscale, we do it all! We are working now with brands around the globe including England, Europe, London, China, Miami, Los Angeles, Georgia , Texas etc. Packages are coming in the mail daily awaiting for us to put our stamp of creativity on their company’s products! It all started with belief and a plan to execute! You can make something of nothing if you use your unique talents and abilities you will always go far! Meanwhile, We are showing our boys that with hard work and dedication anything is possible! My husband and I have separate career goals, but fashion brings us together and gives us something to do as one! I’m still continuing working now as a rehabilitation nurse three days weekly and my husband is training all throughout the week as well for fight time! He doubles as my photographer, and I double as his model. We are doing life together in a unique and extraordinary way, but I wouldn’t have it any different!
I hope that this passage will speak to some of you, and encourage you to believe in yourself and set goals higher that you can ever imagine. Don’t let life’s circumstances hold you back from your greatest potential. Adapt the best that you know how to the changes thrown your way, and most importantly never give up on YOU! You matter, you have purpose greater than you know, and you are the only one who can obtain it for yourself! Don’t wait on anyone else, take back everything that was stolen from you, and claim only the very best for life. Your words and your mind hold all the power to your success! Wishing you the very best, keep shining brightly and making a substantial difference in the lives of those around you! Feel free to reach out to me by EMAIL or via any of these social media platforms!
Brooke Hall Xx