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November 21, 2017

Patty Olino is a nursing student from Fresno about to graduate next month. But she's not your typical nursing student, because she's also pre-med. When the traditional path to becoming a doctor didn’t work for her, she decided to forge her own. In fact, Patty went off the path altogether, following her gut, her passion and her true calling in the most important aspects of her life.

Tell us about a time you felt really proud of yourself.

I immigrated to the U.S. from the Phillipines when I was five and I've often struggled with reconciling some of the differences between traditional Filipino and American values. I was raised in a conservative household and my parents were strict so I led a relatively sheltered life. I wasn’t exactly encouraged to question the status quo or explore new and unfamiliar opportunities. But I’ve always been an ambitious and extroverted person and playing it safe was never my thing. One of the biggest risks I’ve ever taken is deciding to get my nursing degree before applying to medical school (more on that later). I’m proud of how I’ve been able to remain true to certain defining Filipina values like kindness, empathy and family, but also incorporate American values like ambition and individuality.

I’ve always been an ambitious and extroverted person and playing it safe was never my thing.

What's something about you that might surprise others?

People who know me might think I’m high-maintenance because I love putting on makeup and getting dressed up. But they’d be surprised to hear that I actually get ready in about half the time as my boyfriend! And although I love getting dolled up, nothing makes me happier than throwing on my comfortable nightgown grandma-style after a long day of work.

What's your biggest insecurity or fear, and how do you manage it?

My career path is somewhat nontraditional. Back in college I made the decision to get my nursing degree before applying to medical school. Maybe it was the fact that my mom is a RN, but I had a strong desire to be caring for patients at the bedside as soon as possible. I've also always believed that seeing patients through the lenses of different types of providers would only benefit my patients. Perhaps unsurprisingly, I’ve come across a lot of people who think that nursing school would be a waste of time and that my path will be frowned upon by physicians. I can’t help but worry sometimes that I won't get into medical school because of it. But when I find myself worrying, I remind myself why I’m doing this and everything else just kind of falls into place. At the end of the day, I'm certain that this is the right path for me.

patty olino nursing student scrubs

I've also always believed that seeing patients through the lenses of different types of providers would only benefit my patients.

How do you recharge outside of work?

I LOVE running. I ran cross country competitively in college and finished five half-marathons. But lately I’ve been throwing spin classes into the mix. I love the energy of everyone working out around me and the loud music. Just a warning though: if you come to a class with me I might break out into song when Taylor Swift comes on!

patty olino nursing student marathon

This ambitious-yet-empathetic woman is an inspiration to healthcare professionals everywhere. Have a friend or colleague in healthcare who is doing things  their way? Please share this post with them!

We love to hear about how other healthcare pros are slaying this whole work-life balance thing. If you know someone who can teach us a thing or two, email us their details (with their permission, of course).

Follow Patty doing things her way on instagram here

Read more from in the wild

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