WE RISE! An Interview with Distinguished Alumni of the Year: Nurse, Mona Clayton

WE RISE! An Interview with Distinguished Alumni of the Year: Nurse, Mona Clayton

In August, Mona Clayton, MSN, RN, received the University of Phoenix Distinguished Alumni Award for her work in recruiting nearly 100, 000 future nurses through innovation in publishing and business design. Mona was 1 of 15 selected from 92,000 applicants for this prestigious award. A visionary, advocate, educator and practitioner, I am delighted to share an interview with "Nurse Mona" on behalf of CHER. 

CHER: How did you become a nurse? 

Mona: My passion for becoming a nurse was ignited by my cousin Melody Harvey, RN who was in clinical rotation in Labor and Delivery. Melody’s first delivery was my daughter! It was her zest for becoming a nurse, her drive and her knowledge that excited me. Secondly, working at King-Drew Medical Center in South Central Los Angeles as a registration clerk in the trauma center! Now, those nurses were amazing Roc stars. I was motivated by what I saw them do-saving lives and their knowledge and skill set that prompted me to apply for the nursing program at Los Angeles Southwest College.

CHER: Tell us about the program you developed regarding the recruitment of future nurses. How did the idea come about?

Mona: In 2008 while working for a major healthcare organization many of the Medical assistants, LVN’s and even patients came to me and expressed the desire to become registered nurses. I mentioned this to a friend and was challenged to write a book in which I did. Many of the inquiries came about because many individuals thought to become nurses an impossible act because of the lack of math skills, being a single parent or just felt that they did not have the intelligence to become nurses. I started Nurses 2 Roc Publishing and published my first book, “Surviving the Journey as Painlessly as Possible” as a tool to help inspire and motivate others. After submitting to Barnes & Noble Booksellers the book was made for national distribution.

“The Nurses Pub™” program developed includes seminars that are attended by seasoned professionals that share experiences via panel discussion and the professionals are used as a vehicle to help mentor, motivate, inspire and initiate the momentum to start and or finish the nursing journey. I also provide a survival book kit which includes book and journal for guidance and motivation. Individual consulting and mentorship along with all of the other services are offered through the “Nurses Pub™.” The Pub is a virtual and real-time community where nurses can be nourished. Within our virtual community, most of the outreach is from students in Africa and other parts of the nation. We also support students with referral services if needed. For example Teas testing, math tutor etc. As part of the Nurses Pub mentorship program, there will be a heavy emphasis and our a company will provide services to connect students to mentors of choice.

CHER: What are elements of your experience at UOPX that inform your work in nurse advocacy?

Mona: I believe that UOPX has provided dynamic work and education for my management and leadership skills. UOPX has given me the incentive to go beyond bedside nursing and utilize the skills learned at UOPX to reach the masses via elements such as effective presentation skills, leadership and thinking outside of the box. It was during my last course at UOPX that my instructor assigned the class to write what our next step will be in our careers. There was something very unique about the professor; he developed something significant within me; to be creative and to become an entrepreneur. 

CHER: How do you imagine healthcare changing in the next 5-10 years?

Mona: My hope is that healthcare will change in terms of nursing administrators, managers and leaders as well as other healthcare decision makers such as doctors and non-nursing advocates (patients) and hospital administrations changing the mindset from “budget to brave” which means being brave enough to recognize the importance of decreasing the nursing shortage and acting out a plan and demanding this be a part of the budget priority. This ties into my journey which is to be a part of the plan of recruiting 100,000 future nurses. I believe that healthcare will benefit because quality patient care will be the center of healthcare, not quantity. Hospitals look strongly at the budget which is important; however maintaining quality care, safety, and patient satisfaction should be the basis of what we do. Therefore, nursing ratios to the patient will be decreased. Nurses will be looked at and recognized that we are indeed professionals and nurses must change their identity and their thinking with the premise that breaking into the nursing field is not a job but we are high-level professionals; therefore nurses will maintain a stronger voice on implementing change in the healthcare arena.

CHER: Tell us about your book!

Mona: “From Student to Nurse-Surviving the Journey As Painlessly As Possible” was published under the umbrella of Nurses Roc 2 Publishing. The book is an easy read and was written for students that feel they are incapable of going through the journey. The book highlights tips on how to survive and basically, it is a motivational tool-an easy read. Ideally, I would like the book to be a part of every nursing school and every nursing student’s first-year program to kick-start their journey into nursing. The book is also a great tool for the senior in high school looking for advice.

CHER: What are the areas of research that you think should be explored? Or, what are we missing? 

Mona: In terms of research, I believe there is so much to be done in the area of cancer-causing agents and treatments. I believe healthcare is losing the battle in this area. How about high dose Vitamin C as treatment-the effects of Vitamin D? Also, I think we could change in the way that our routine physical examination is performed-how about evaluating and emphasizing the patients vita-min and nutritional levels along with the other routine tests. Our nutritional habits are literally “killing” many Americans.

CHER: What is coming next for you? 

Mona: Talk Show, Radio, and journey to Africa to continue the 100,000 recruitment process and of course, The Nurses Pub seminar is coming to Los Angeles soon. I would love to work with Michelle Obama and her fight against childhood obesity which ties into the fight against childhood diabetes.



Please join me in congratulating Mona for her achievements. Visit her site, Nurse Mona for detailed information as to her business model and publications. You can also learn more at these links:

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