JRMC announced MeLisa Roaldson, registered nurse, as its most recent Legend Award recipient. This is the most prestigious distinction for a JRMC employee.
JRMC announced MeLisa Roaldson, registered nurse, as its most recent Legend Award recipient. This is the most prestigious distinction for a JRMC employee.

My name is MeLisa Roaldson.

I was lost and then I was found. I am not your typical story.

I grew up in a drug-addicted home. I am the only one to graduate high school, let alone college in my family. I have served time in a correctional facility. At a young age I was fortunate to have learned that family doesn’t always mean blood. We are all humans and we all have a story.

I started my journey after my first son was born.

I obtained my Certified Nursing Assistant licensure and felt very accomplished. I was hired at what is now Ave Maria Village. Throughout my 10 years of employment with this facility, I had learned loss, love and understanding. I heard many times “I’m sorry you have to clean me up” and “Thank you for not getting upset.” I would always smile and say “that’s what I’m here for,” or “do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” I was feeling loved by complete strangers. I became the family member that someone didn’t have. I knew I was making a difference in others’ lives and I strived to be better. Not only was I helping others, but they were helping me.

As a CNA, I learned it was ok to lie in bed with those who were ending life’s journey so they didn’t have to be alone. It’s okay to ask if someone is feeling scared or lonely. It was appreciated to sit and say a prayer. Through the encouragement of new-found family members, my boss, co-workers and friends, I decided to embark on the scariest mission of my life. I was going to become a nurse. I would get to use my heart on a whole new level.

I was accepted into the University of Jamestown nursing program – which is no easy feat.

I had a second child now and was continuing to work. I knew that if I could do this, I was both building a career, and I was building a foundation for my children. Throughout my courses, my professors believed in me when I felt I was not good enough. My classmates, who came from well-to-do families, never let me feel alone. Teamwork was definitely instilled.

After graduation in 2014, I worked on a Medical-Surgical unit where I was able to heal and save lives. I was able to use my skills, my heart and my knowledge that only I was equipped with. I was able to learn from my teammates and combine their lessons with mine. I began to learn that my teammates were not just my co-workers, but my patients as well. I received priceless knowledge from those I was trying to help. Again, I was reminded that I am not just helping others; they are helping me as well.

When I came to Jamestown Regional Medical Center, I was home! I was in the community that had embraced me and encouraged me throughout a crucial time of self-discovery. I knew I could give back to so many I’ve come to know over the years. Again, I was using my heart on a new level.

I took the job in Urology treading in unknown waters. What could I bring to this program? My patients have taught me that I help make them feel comfortable talking about things that are not so comfortable. Hugs are sometimes better than medicine.

Growing up lost in an environment I had no control over, allowed me to realize I didn’t want to be a statistic. Being part of the medical field has allowed me to realize experience is knowledge that can be used to empower.

I am a mother. I am a wife. I am a Jimmie. I am a nurse. I am proud to be part of the JRMC family.

I am found.

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