I met Alvionna Brewster as a Community Manager of a Facebook community of over 3,500 black nurse entrepreneurs. Being a nurse in business can be especially lonely. The fact is that many investors are only looking for the next Zuckerberg and not the next Katheryn Finney. Their loss. The truth is that is that Pattern Matching is real. Some minorities are learning to play the game. I know of a few female founders who have even rented a White Guy.
Being a nurse who is a minority has its unique challenges. There is a common experience that this group has comfort in sharing with one another. Alvionna has grown an online community of like-minded nurses who are ready to support one another. Her own entrepreneur story was inspired by her mom who had various side gigs. Alvionna turned to crafting as a way to relieve work-related stress. Here she will share about her latest business venture as a BLS Instructor. In her own words:
My Journey to BLS Instructor
As told by Alvionna Brewster
I did it! Those were my words to my group, Black Nurse Entrepreneurs, in February of 2016. I did something I had been wanting to do for years for many reasons. I had become a BLS Instructor. When my dear friend Amelia reached out to me to talk about my journey, she emphasized that what a person learns during the process is just as important as the process itself. So, therefore, I am honored to share my experience thus far.
My motivation wavered throughout the years on completing this task. For many years, I had written it down as a goal that I wanted to reach, but never put forth the effort to complete it. I always dreamed that I would have classes at area churches or local small businesses but never did it. As I connected more and more with my Black Nurse Entrepreneur family, I received amazing support, encouragement, and motivation from entrepreneurs just like me to pursue this.
TAKING THE CLASS
The process for taking the class was a lot easier than I had anticipated. I went onto www.heart.org (American Heart Association’s website), researched training centers in my area, contacted one and got the ball rolling. They explained what I needed to do before class started. I attended a class one Saturday, completed a few other requirements like online updates that were requested by the training center, and then I was on my way.
Finding supplies was a little more challenging and the supplies cost a little more than I had originally expected. I used so many gift cards and reward cards during this time to minimize expenses. I also did a lot of research and asked a lot of questions to those who had done this prior to me. I found the majority of the equipment on Amazon. Oh, the great joy I felt on the day that my manikins, Ambu bags and training defibrillator came in! I sealed my joy by picking up my stamp from Staples to formally stamp the CPR cards with my name and instructor ID. I felt so official and ready to start.
Getting started was equally as challenging as finding the motivation for signing up for the class. I went through waves of, “I can’t do this," "I don’t want to do this anymore," "I don’t have time for this," "This is more than I anticipated.” I suppose these are normal feelings when doing something that is challenging for me. I had to set myself goals, have accountability partners and make deadlines.
Although the process was relatively simple, I found that I often get in my own way of reaching goals with fear, lack of motivation and my busy schedule. During these times, the Bible verse “faith without works is dead,” becomes so relevant. When we want to be great, it is imperative that we put forth the work regardless of the trials.
Very few feelings are as special and as precious as saving a person’s life. For me, helping to inspire someone to follow their dreams is just as priceless. I hope my experience will motivate you to do so.
Alvionna J. Brewster, BSN, RN