A Path to Nursing - Health Workforce for the Future Success Story

The Workforce Development Council of Seattle-King County is devoted to creating sustainable career pathways aligned within our Focus and Watch Sectors. Health Workforce for the Future provides an exciting opportunity for individuals to find not just a job, but build a career within the healthcare sector. HWF is a local project of the Health Professions Opportunity Grant (HPOG) initiative of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Below we’ve highlighted the story of Andrea Galicia, an individual who seized these opportunities to advance her career in nursing.

To learn more about Health Workforce for the Future, please visit seakingwdc.org/hwf-project.


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“When I see patients who need help, and work next to professionals who provide that help, it inspires me. I feel compelled to work on my skills and practice growth to become one of those providers who makes a difference in an individual’s life.”

With that perspective, Andrea Galicia, a Medical Assistant at Seattle’s Country Doctor community health clinic, applied for admission to the 3-1/2-year nursing cohort at North Seattle College. “I have watched the devotion and professional strengths of those here at Country Doctor,” Andrea wrote in her application, “and that stirs me to constantly reach and improve.”

Her supervisor at Country Doctor admitted nursing was the right path for Andrea, but lamented, “I would love to have her as my Medical Assistant forever.”

Perhaps unsurprisingly, Andrea was admitted to the program, with support provided through the Workforce Development Council of Seattle-King County’s Health Careers for All project, funded under the Health Professions Opportunity Grant initiative of the Office of Family Assistance, at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

After completing six challenging quarters of pre-requisite coursework that began in the summer of 2012, Andrea, a working single mother of three young children, successfully began the Licensed Practical Nursing (LPN) portion of her training in January 2014. Continually searching for the right balance between work, school, and family life, Andrea ran into academic issues in the 2nd quarter of the LPN program, which prevented her from moving forward with her cohort. Family issues then necessitated a move out of her parents’ home, adding further complications to her plans.

Determined to reach her long-time goal of becoming a Registered Nurse (RN), she explored other nursing programs, but kept alive the remote option of being re-admitted to the program at North—which would require starting the LPN year from the beginning. Said Andrea, “I am very fortunate to have a supportive family and many relatives and friends who are willing to help me with the transition of balancing school and family.”

She ultimately received the good news of her re-admission to North, and did return in the fall of 2014. Continuing her work at Country Doctor while in the program, she made it through the LPN year, passed her LPN licensing exam in November 2015, and began the LPN-to-RN ladder program in the fall of 2015.

Only three quarters remained to achieve her goal, but the HCA project was ending and the challenges to reach completion again seemed insurmountable. Thanks to Andrea’s dedication to achieving her commitments—including spending extra time tutoring and relying on the support of friends, family, and the program—she was able to make it through. The WDC and its partners worked closely to ensure Andrea was able to find the resources she needed to stay on track. This included funding and Navigator support for her final quarter through the WDC’s HPOG2 project, Health Workforce for the Future, which helped support completion of the training and credentialing that followed the academic process.

Andrea’s dream of becoming a Registered Nurse was achieved when she graduated in June 2016 and passed her RUN licensing exam in September. She says, “I am dedicated to putting all my efforts and energy into giving back to the community that has taught me so much. It is my passion to do this.”

Andrea is now preparing for an interview for an RN position at Country Doctor’s sister clinic, Carolyn Downs, a community health center serving a diverse and complex patient population in Seattle’s Central District. Andrea is poised to further the health center’s mission of “providing quality, caring, culturally appropriate primary healthcare that addresses the needs of people, regardless of their ability to pay,” and bring greater stability to her own family, nearly doubling her wage from $16 per hour as a Medical Assistant.

“Those who know her well know how fortunate the community is that she persevered to reach her goal through the many demanding times,” says her HWF Navigator, Mike Hayden. “All who know Andrea know the benefit she will bring as a nurse in the Seattle-King County community.”

A Career in Healthcare, Fueled by Passion - Health Workforce for the Future Success Story

The Workforce Development Council of Seattle-King County is devoted to creating sustainable career pathways aligned within our Focus and Watch Sectors. Health Workforce for the Future (HWF) provides an exciting opportunity for individuals to find not just a job, but build a career within the healthcare sector. HWF is a local project of the Health Professions Opportunity Grant (HPOG) initiative of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Below we’ve highlighted the story of Josselin Maceda, who seized the opportunities available to her to join a healthcare cohort for young people in college and complete her nursing assistant training.

To learn more about Health Workforce for the Future, please visit seakingwdc.org/hwf-project.


Josselin (left) and HEY Coordinator/Advisor Jennifer Johnston (right)

Josselin (left) and HEY Coordinator/Advisor Jennifer Johnston (right)

In late spring 2016, at the end of her senior year, Josselin heard about the Health Workforce for the Future (HWF) program from her high school counselor, as part of a recruiting effort for a special cohort—Health Exploration for Youth (HEY)—at Highline College in King County, Washington.

“I was immediately motivated,” says Josselin, upon hearing about the program. “College was always a blueprint for me, but I didn’t know what to study. That’s why HEY stood out—there were a variety of options and careers I could choose from relating to the medical field. It gave me a taste of the college experience, and how to survive it.”

The cohort was designed to provide hands-on healthcare career exploration, basic academic skills development, and an orientation to college. Students learn about opportunities in the healthcare field, explore occupations to find a personal fit, and develop the necessary skills to succeed in occupational skills training.

Josselin enrolled in HEY in July 2016 and successfully completed the program in mid-August. She continued to work with her HWF Navigator into the fall quarter, when she began pre-requisite coursework required for nursing. In early 2017, Josselin enrolled in nursing assistant (NAC) training to fulfill a required nursing pre-requisite and earn a credential that will provide her access to higher wages and additional employment experience. She completed the training in March, and then turned her attention to employment and additional training.

“I was raised in poverty among my family,” says Josselin. “I always felt as if there was nothing I could do about it. Being a young, female immigrant in America is often looked down upon, but I hold my head high. I convert that negativity into inspiration, which fuels my passion.”

Transferring Nursing Experience & Planning for the Future - Health Workforce for the Future Success Story

The Workforce Development Council of Seattle-King County is devoted to creating sustainable career pathways aligned within our Focus and Watch Sectors. Health Workforce for the Future provides an exciting opportunity for individuals to find not just a job, but build a career within the healthcare sector. HWF is a local project of the Health Professions Opportunity Grant (HPOG) initiative of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Below we’ve highlighted the story of Getachew Haile, an individual who immigrated from Ethiopia and was able to transfer his existing nursing experience through collaboration between the Health Workforce for the Future and the Welcome Back Center.

To learn more about Health Workforce for the Future, please visit seakingwdc.org/hwf-project.


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Getachew Haile came to the United States in May 2015 from Ethiopia, where he had practiced as a nurse. He was referred to the Health Workforce for the Future (HWF) program in April 2016 by staff at the Puget Sound Welcome Back Center (WBC) at Highline College, who had assisted him with compiling transcripts and documents for formal credential evaluation in the U.S.

With the assistance of his HWF Navigator, Getachew enrolled in Nursing Assistant (NAC) training, which he successfully completed in May. By the end of June, he had taken and passed the NAC licensing exam, received his license to work from the state, and connected with the HWF business services rep to identify and begin applying for available jobs in the area. In July, Getachew began working as a Nursing Assistant at an Alzheimer’s and Dementia facility.

Getachew works with 20 residents on a daily basis, following their Patient Care Plan and assisting with daily living (bathing, feeding, grooming, dressing), ambulation, medication reminders, and vitals monitoring. He continues to work closely with his HWF Navigator and Welcome Back Center staff to prepare for the next step in his career. Once the credential evaluation process is complete, Getatchew will be eligible to sit for the national nursing credentialing exam (NCLEX). His HWF Navigator has assisted Getachew to enroll in an NCLEX prep course at Highline College, where the Welcome Back Center is housed. Together WBC and HWF staff are providing Getachew the guidance and assistance necessary to navigate the complex process of articulating his training and experience in Ethiopia to the U.S. workforce.

His HWF Navigator says that Getachew is very appreciative of the HWF program, in spite of the heavy lifting he is doing to prepare for his exams. His navigator frequently encourages him to take time to reward himself for his hard work.