Adept in orthopedics, robotics and general surgery, Brenda L. Bowens, BSN, RN, CNOR, RNFA, was always interested in nursing and health care, so she decided to pursue that as her career. It was either that or teaching and she was not interested in teaching, and there weren’t many other career choices for women back then so she chose nursing. Ms. Bowens began her career as a staff nurse in the operating room at Battle Creek Health Systems in Michigan in 1974, remaining in this role for 13 years before transferring to the cardiac surgery recovery unit (CSRU) and clinical specialties unit (CSU) at Borgess Medical Center, now known as Ascension Borgess Hospital, in Kalamazoo, Michigan, from 1987 to 1992. She then returned to her original position at Battle Creek Health Systems, where she has worked since 1992. During this time, she has also been a registered nurse first assistant (RNFA) at Bronson Battle Creek Hospital, now Bronson Health Systems, since 1992. In addition to this tenure, she was a clinical instructor at Kalamazoo Community Valley College from 1990 to 1991.
Prior to the start of her professional career, Ms. Bowens pursued a formal education at Kellogg Community College in Battle Creek, earning an Associate of Applied Science in 1974. She then matriculated at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, where she attained a Bachelor of Science in Nursing in 1990. Additionally, Ms. Bowens is the recipient of the CNOR certification and took a first assistant course at Oakland Heritage Hospital in Taylor, Michigan. The mentor who inspired and motivated Ms. Bowens was Joanne Miller, who was her department educator when she first started working in the operating room. She always encouraged her to keep going and never stop learning.
Outside of her primary trade, Ms. Bowens is a former member of numerous organizations related to her field including the American Association of Critical Care Nurses, the American Nurses Association and the Association of Operating Room Nurses. In light of her accomplishments, she was selected for inclusion in the fourth and fifth editions of Who’s Who in American Nursing. Today, Ms. Bowens is married to her loving husband of 10 years, Bill Bowens, and is the proud mother of three wonderful children, Travis, Jessica and Meighan. Likewise, she is a doting grandmother to seven beloved grandchildren. Returning to school and working full-time while raising a family wasn’t easy, you just have to be disciplined and stay focused.
What separates Ms. Bowens from other professionals in her field is her ability to always stay current in her practice. Things are always changing, so she tries to keep up with them. She hopes to be a role model to others, showing them what can be if you choose to continually look for new opportunities and learn. Ms. Bowen would like to be remembered by her peers as someone who believes that you can achieve what you want, it is just the decision to just do it. The only thing holding you back is you. The advice that she can offer fellow members or others aspiring to work in her industry is just to go for it. Nursing is so diverse. Explore what is has to offer, find your niche and make a difference.