Local Nursing Graduate Pursues Dream, Reaches Goal

By Kelly Legg

Jessica Dorey Walker demonstrated it takes hard work and perseverance to pursue your dreams and reach your goals. In July, Walker took and passed the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners (AANP) exam.

Her proud mother, Sandi Dorey, is thrilled with all of Jessica’s accomplishments. “ As you can imagine, it was a tremendous amount of pressure as Jessica has been in school for 20-years and it all came down to this one last exam,” said Dorey. “She has been studying for the AANP Nursing Board Exam since she graduated in May with her Masters in Family Health Nursing from the University of South Florida, except for taking time to volunteer as a nurse for the Children’s Cancer Center Kid’s Camp in Tampa.”

Dorey also credits Jessica’s education groundwork to Grace Christian School, where Jessica was the 2005 Valedictorian and was awarded the National Principal’s Leadership Scholarship. This prestigious award was only given to one student in Hillsborough County that year. Jessica attended Grace Christian from kindergarten through graduation. “We are thankful to Grace Christian School for the strong foundation they gave Jessica in her educational journey,” said Dorey.

According to Dorey, Jessica’s biggest struggle has been the pressure she placed on herself to maintain perfect grades, especially with all the extracurricular activities she was involved in, both at Grace Christian School and the University of South Florida.

“Jessica was often teased about her perfect grades,” said Dorey. “We have seen Jessica set her alarm clock to get up early in the morning and study until bedtime. We were impressed with her fortitude and determination to be successful in her academics. “With her hard work, Jessica graduated Magna Cum Laude at her USF graduation in 2009. Upon graduation, she immediately entered into the Masters Program for Nurse practitioner at USF. She graduated with a Masters Degree in nursing with a perfect 4.0 grade point average this year.

It has been a long road for Jessica to achieve her dream and she is now busy sending out her résumé.

“Jessica is a bright, compassionate young lady who has a tender heart for people, making her the kind of nurse practitioner most people would want in their time of medical need,” said Dorey. “We also see Jessica continuing her education as she loves to learn. She is already talking about returning to the University of South Florida to continue her studies in nursing.”