Degree: Bachelor of Science in Nursing
College/School: Nicole Wertheim College of Nursing and Health Sciences
Compassion and perseverance are at the heart of Bachelor of Science in Nursing and Worlds Ahead graduate America Gomez. Raised in an altruistic family who fed the hungry with what little they had, she herself has overcome extraordinary obstacles to follow her passion for helping others as a health care provider.
America is a former physician from Venezuela who immigrated to Oklahoma 16 years ago. As she acclimated to a new home and language, she struggled through a difficult divorce and custody battle for her autistic son. Yet she continued to give by caring for patients in county jails, psychiatric hospitals and nursing homes as a licensed practical nurse. In 2014, she uprooted her family to Miami to join FIU’s pioneering Foreign-Educated Physician to BSN/MSN program to become a licensed nursing professional.
The program gave America her life back, though it wasn’t an easy road. She was a single mom, the sole breadwinner for her parents and her special-needs child, worked two jobs up to 80 hours weekly, and as a full-time student maintained a 3.76 GPA.
She hopes to transform the stigma associated with mental health by becoming a registered nurse practitioner in psychiatrics and eventually returning to the program as a professor. America’s advice to others, including to her 5-year-old son, is to never put limits on your life, and it’s this spirit that truly embodies what being Worlds Ahead is all about.