When asked if any one person influenced her decision to pursue a career in the healthcare field, Lesley Anne Andrew notes her mother worked as a nurse in Montreal.
"Actually, my mother told me not to choose nursing as a career," jokes Andrew. "I guess we sometimes gravitate towards what we’re told we shouldn’t do." Despite her mother’s concerns, Andrew had always been drawn to the life sciences; a life-long interest that led her into the healthcare field.
Born a Canadian citizen, Andrew moved around the western hemisphere frequently due to her father’s work as an auditor for an international corporation. Though she attended primary school in Bermuda and New York and high school in Bermuda and New Jersey, Andrew decided to use her Canadian citizenship to her advantage and attended Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario as a pre-medical student. She found that while she enjoyed the coursework, she was unsure if becoming a doctor was the right path for her.
After completing her bachelor’s in biology, she returned to her family in New Jersey. She decided that even though a career in medicine was no longer her goal she still wanted to work in healthcare, so she earned a second bachelor’s degree, this time in nursing, from Rutgers University. After many years working as a critical care nurse she decided to pursue her master’s and found she enjoyed the environment of academia and educating others.
After several semesters as an adjunct instructor, she joined the County College of Morris (CCM) faculty full-time in early 2013, while pursuing her Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey. She admits that it takes effort to balance such a workload but that it’s worth it in the end. It’s something she sees many of the nursing students doing at CCM, juggling school, work and family, all because they have a larger goal.
As a teacher, Andrew notes, she enjoys some special rewards.
"My favorite part is while I’m with my students in a clinical setting," she says. "Being able to observe the students as they begin to understand the practical application and importance of their coursework is very rewarding."