When Jennifer Hosken, a student at Baptist Health Sciences University, goes to her mother with a question about her studies, she gets more than good advice. She gets the benefit of firsthand experience because her mother, Ali Hosken, is also studying at the College.
Pursuing a career in health care is truly a familiar affair for this mother and daughter. Jennifer is a freshman studying radiation therapy. Ali is a registered nurse pursuing her Bachelor of Science in nursing. Her years of experience had a strong influence on Jennifer.
“I always knew I wanted to work in the medical field like my mother, but I was not interested in nursing,” said Jennifer. “So, we looked at other areas and my mother suggested radiation therapy. When I learned more, I said absolutely…I want to be that person who can be a consistent source of help to someone in their time of need.”
Her mother was not surprised at her enthusiasm. “Jennifer is very compassionate, and this is a perfect fit,” said Ali. “She’s working very hard.” Ask Jennifer and she will quickly say how helpful it is to have a mother who’s been through the ropes available for guidance. “It means I have someone to rely on even if it’s 11 p.m.,” said Jennifer. “Coming in as a freshman can be overwhelming; but she’s been through that and can help me navigate many of the challenges.”
Ali herself has navigated multiple challenges throughout her career. She obtained her first RN qualification in England in the 1980s, then moved to France and earned her BN qualification there. Ali then came to Arkansas in 1992, earned her BN qualification there, and worked at what was then Crittenden County Hospital.
She now works in the electrophysiology lab at Baptist Memphis.
“After 30 years in nursing, much has changed, and some classes that were not required when I first became an RN, now are required,” she said. “So, I’m still learning and relearning. But I must say the Baptist Health Sciences University has just been awesome, helping me every step of the way when I first came here. Everyone was so professional and made it much easier. I love being a nurse, especially in critical care and emergency medicine. It’s very rewarding to help people achieve a better quality of life or even help extend their life.”
For Jennifer, Ali is her inspiration. “The world needs more people like her!” says Ali. “She is a fantastic mother of five children, a wife, a full-time nurse, a student, and someone I truly look up to. She is a hero.”