Jane Gutierrez, AUHS Alumna, gives a personal testimonial about her background, how she became the recipient of the Daisy Award, and why AUHS is the ideal university to pursue healthcare education.

My name is Jane Castillo Gutierrez, a mother of 4 beautiful kids.

I came here to the U.S. in 2007 as an immigrant, being new to the states. It’s hard to figure out what’s going to be our future. I went to school to become an LVN and became licensed in 2010. I was a very dedicated student when I was at school pursuing my LVN.

I only missed half a day of my full one-year course, due to my son graduating from the 6th grade. As soon as his graduation finished, I told my son that we cannot celebrate his graduation because we don’t have enough money.

I dropped off my son back to our house and went back to my school to catch up on my lecture that I missed. 8 years after I got my LVN license, I told myself that I want to go back to school again for my BSN. I had been receiving letters from AUHS and one time, I decided to call them. At that time, Ms. Dina from the Admissions Department was very helpful and very informative.

I decided to go see the school. There I met Ms. Alma at the front door. She encouraged me to pursue my career and she told me all the good things about AUHS and the tutorial assistance they have. Soon enough, I was enrolled back in 2015 and started my nursing journey at AUHS. 3 ½ years was a rough time for me due to working and going to nursing school full-time. In addition, I have a 2-year-old daughter and my husband was unemployed due to an injury at work, and I was the only one working at that time.

Ms. Alma Pineda saw all my hardships, and there were many times when I just needed someone to listen to me and to cry on. She knew when I was struggling to pay my tuition fee, and I was always behind on my payment. She is very helpful and understanding, and always gave me advice; continue going and always believe in myself. She always encouraged me to pray and ask God for guidance.

With the help from the AUHS administration and faculty, I was able to finish my full 3 ½ years in the BSN program without failing any classes.

I also want to shout out to the best clinical instructor that I had.

Ms. Kristen Soegeng was one of my first clinical instructors. She was very helpful and gave us all the information and the tools we needed to help us succeed in our clinical rotation. Ms. Kristen is very professional and helpful to all her students. She wants all her students to understand the context of the lecture as we applied it to real-world patient care, and how to identify the proper interventions that our patients need. Kudos to Ms. Kristen Soegeng for being a vital part of AUHS and making a great contribution to all the students.

Because of all the hardships and experiences that I encountered during nursing school, I told myself that I will give back to my patients. I took care of my patients like the way I wanted my loved ones to be taken care of.

In March 2021, I received the DAISY AWARD from ORANGE COAST MEMORIAL. One of my patients’ family wrote a very nice story about me on how grateful they are and felt safe whenever they have me as a nurse for their grandfather. I am very humbled to receive this prestigious award for nurses and am very grateful that AUHS became a part of my journey.

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