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Nurture is thrilled to welcome Tiana Smith, a senior in Health Sciences at VCU, as an intern this semester. Read below to learn more about Tiana and her passion for women’s health.

For as long as I can remember, I have always wanted to be in the medical field or something closely related. I can remember loving shows like House and Grey’s Anatomy and any other series that was in a hospital setting and focused on the human body. When I was in high school is when I really gained a fascination with the female body specifically. I can remember my Home Ec class where we talked about birth and babies and watched a clip of a live birth. It was the first time I had seen one and I was so intrigued while everyone else was so grossed out.

When it came to senior year, I took an EMT class, and of course my favorite chapter was the one on pregnancy and babies. I also took anatomy, and my teacher just so happened to be pregnant. I would just stare at her in fascination while her baby was moving all around in her stomach and was always asking her questions about her experience now and in her previous pregnancies. Throughout my high school career I must’ve asked my mom a million questions about pregnancy and birth, and had her recall everything she possibly could about when she was pregnant with my sisters and me.

Freshman year of college, I knew I wanted to be a physician’s assistant (PA) and probably go into obstetrics and gynecology – I just did not know which route to take. I ended up majoring in Health Sciences and will graduate in December with a minor in Spanish. Up until two years ago, I was planning on becoming a PA and just focusing on pregnancy and babies but something still wasn’t completely right. Then I read an article on doulas and midwifery, and during junior year read a book titled “Pushed.” After that, it clicked and it was like sparks went off and music played in the background. This is what I want to be – a midwife!

After that, it clicked and it was like sparks went off and music played in the background. This is what I want to be – a midwife!

It was all confirmed last year when my pastor did a lesson on midwives – I just felt like it was my calling and he was speaking directly to me. I became so excited and made my mom and sisters research different things about midwifery. The more we read and the more information we gathered, the more we knew this was the perfect career for me. From that point on, I have been so excited to start this journey and everyone I have explained my goals to agrees that I would be the perfect midwife.

I came across Nurture at the beginning of the summer while looking for an internship. My advisor sent me an article that Nurture published on its website about a local nurse. After exploring the website, more sparks went off and more music played. This seemed to fit so perfectly into my goals and made me even more excited for the future. Looking at the website and seeing what Leslie does and her goals and aspirations, she is exactly what I need to build the foundation for my future. I reached out to Leslie and she took me in with open arms and was so excited to get started and talk to me. I just knew before even talking to her that she could teach me so many things and get me some wonderful experience and help me to meet some amazing people, and so far, that is exactly what she has done and the semester just started!

I am so happy to be working with Nurture and to see the other side of women’s health. I have already learned so much and was excited to be a part of the #RVAbreastfeeds Campaign. I cannot wait to see what this semester has in store for us and I just pray for growth and understanding throughout this process. I am so blessed and so happy that everything is falling into place!

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