At the heart of Frontier Nursing University is a talented and diverse community of students, alumni, faculty, staff, Couriers and preceptors. Spotlight blogs feature members of our FNU community that are focused on the mission of educating nurse-midwives and nurse practitioners to deliver quality health care to underserved and rural populations.
No stranger to hard work, Rhonda Hilliker obtained her BSN online while working full-time night shift at the busiest labor and delivery deck in the United States Army. Since 2008, she has chosen to leave the comforts of life in the United States and serve on the mission field in the African ‘bush’. Most recently, she served almost nine months in Sierra Leone, Africa, as a labor and delivery nurse, clinical lead, and nurse educator.
“Working in Sierra Leone was the hardest, hottest, and most rewarding care I have ever given,” said Rhonda.
During her first six months in Sierra Leone, she worked in an ebola holding unit providing care to pregnant and lactating women who were being tested for ebola. She then relocated to a remote village clinic where she educated local birth attendants and nurses.
After her experience in Sierra Leone, Rhonda felt called to return to the United States and advance her career by becoming a nurse-midwife. She chose Frontier Nursing University (FNU) following a recommendation from her mentor in the mission field.
According to Rhonda, the level of support she has received during her time at FNU has exceeded her expectations.
“Everyone is helpful,” said Rhonda. “The library, IT, my advisor and instructors, and everyone I met during my campus visit has been expedient and accommodating. I am thankful for the guidance and support I have received as a student.”
Rhonda is still an active medical missionary and will be returning to Africa for two weeks in March to teach CPR and emergency burn care at a pregnancy crisis center. She will also visit a children’s hospital to encourage and support the nurses and deliver toys to the children.
Rhonda’s faith is at the core of her desire to serve in Africa.
“There is no greater joy in life than knowing exactly why God created you and then doing it. He created me to serve pregnant and lactating women in places where so many people do not want to serve, and I will willingly go where He has called me…If every person took the time to share of themselves outside their personal comfort zone, their knowledge could change the world for generations to come.”
When Rhonda graduates in 2018, she will return to Africa as a certified nurse-midwife and resume caring for underserved populations. Rhonda’s story is an excellent example of how a student’s personal calling can align strongly with FNU’s mission. Together, we are making a difference!