WCU-OC Alumni Spotlight: Willina D.

Willina in cap and gown next to a man

As a Navy service member, a mother, and a certified registered nurse anesthetist (CRNA), West Coast University-Orange County graduate Willina D. had to become an expert in balance when pursuing her Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree.

“It was difficult. I lived in Murietta, traveled to Anaheim for school, and then San Diego for the military, and I have a 6-year-old, so it was a lot. I just made it work. I already had a goal in mind, got tunnel vision, and did what I needed to do to complete it,” Willina said. “Sometimes it was overwhelming. But my family and my support system are what really pushed me through to complete my program.”   

At a young age, Willina knew her goal was to become a nurse just like her mother.

“When they used to have ‘take your child to work day,’ I would always go to work with my mom and I just became inspired by the nurses and all they did for the families to feel connected, loved, and safe,” she said.

Now as a WCU-OC graduate, Willina says her son is just as inspired by her accomplishment.

“He’s been included the whole journey. He knew when I started and when my finish date was, so once I completed, he’s like, ‘Oh, my mommy’s a nurse!’” she shared. “You could tell he’s super proud to be my son and I’m proud to be his mom.”

Willina’s next move is to become a Navy Officer, working in a hospital and continuing to serve her country.

“I would love to be a light to anybody that I encounter, and that’s my goal,” she said.

WCU provides career guidance and assistance but cannot guarantee employment. The views and opinions expressed are those of the individuals and do not necessarily reflect the beliefs or position of the school or of any instructor or student.