Thea Smith, RN
Thea Smith, RN had always wanted to be a nurse. When the opportunity came for her to do her residency in Texas, her husband and two children stood by her. The whole family relocated to Texas for her two-year residency, to be with her as she pursued her dreams.
Her story began as a licensed vocational nurse, in 2006. And as anyone who’s met Smith knows, she believes strongly in learning and growth. She pushed herself through a registered nurse program finishing in two years, while raising her children. You can imagine the euphoria around her as she graduated and passed her boards.
Little did she know that real joy would find her working with MOVE! a program serving diabetes patients in the Veterans Authority (VA) Health Care System. There they aimed to go beyond prevention and management but to reverse diabetes. Working with her patients, Smith successfully helped them lower their glucose and A1C levels, in what were everyday medical miracles.
A member of the American Nurses Association (ANA) and the Philippine Nursing Association of America (PNAA), when she isn’t reading articles and learning, she’s having fun and staying healthy. Zumba, tennis, long walks, and karaoke keep her positive and laughing. On weekends, you might find Smith with her family fishing for striper bass at the delta in the Burlingame Bayshore.
True to her love for nursing, Smith helps aspiring nurses-to-be by tutoring difficult subjects like medsurg, neuro, GI, and motility. At NurseRegistry, we know that with Smith’s knowledge and experience patients rely on her to handle all types of cases, going above and beyond to care for her long-term and short-notice patients.
What advice does Smith give to new nurses?
Continue on growing as a nurse. Don’t be stagnant. Be proactive. Find out what you really want for your career and life, to be well-rounded and wholesome.”
Nancy Aziz, LVN
Nancy Aziz, LVN began her journey into a nursing career by searching for humanitarian work.
I was considering the peace corps but decided I could probably do more good as a nurse. I have been an LVN for 6 years and graduated from the RN program last year and now awaiting NCLEX.”
Working with NurseRegistry, Aziz loves “the flexibility and the different types of assignments that offer a variety of experiences.”
We asked Aziz what makes her smile while working—she shared that it’s “patients who have not lost their sense of humor.” Her least favorite part of her work is seeing patients suffering.
Not so surprisingly, Aziz’s favorite podcast is Medicins sans Frontières.
We know Aziz would have done a lot of good in the peace corps, but we and her patients are glad she chose nursing.
Joy Malaga, RN
Joy Malaga, RN began her journey when she took nursing as a pre-med course, where she was so inspired by her nursing professors that she decided to pursue it full time. As she puts it, they taught her “the passion and beauty of nursing.”
Twenty years later, Malaga is still loving her profession. Patients love her—if you met her, you’d understand why. Malaga carries a bright, cheerful energy that lights up any room.
When we asked Malaga why nursing is so fulfilling to her, she stressed the importance of advocacy—she enjoys advocating for her clients and providing them with the tools to advocate for themselves. Malaga truly loves making a difference in someone else’s life, no matter how big or small.
Malaga shared her most treasured memory as a nurse—a time when she cared for a patient with liver, heart, and kidney failure. While the patient was in the ICU for 3 months, Malaga and their team did everything they could for the patient. As she recalls,
He finally got his heart, kidney, and liver all at the same time! He came back to us after surgery looking healthy and happy and thanking our crew. He also left us a picture book of his journey. Seeing him happy and healthy after his journey was the most rewarding experience I had in my nursing career.”
As Malaga loves to say, “Life is good!”—and we couldn’t agree more. We’re so pleased to celebrate Malaga as an honoree of the Melissa A. Fischer Nursing Award.