Spotlight on Nicole 'Nikki' Banda, RN
Nicole “Nikki” Banda, R.N., Robotics Program Coordinator, started at Silver Cross 21 years ago as a Sterile Processing Technician.
When she had her son at age 20, Nikki Banda says gave up on her dream of being a nurse. She already had been working at Silver Cross for two years as a Sterile Processing Technician.
She thought it was too late, and especially being a mom, but continued at Silver Cross, being promoted to Sterile Processing Department head in 2005. A couple years later, she got refocused after a comment from her son.
“I was talking to my son when he was about 5 years old, telling him he could be anything he put his mind to. He asked me, ‘What do you want to do?’”
“It was that moment I realized I should practice what I was preaching to my son. So, I enrolled in nursing school in 2007!”
Over the past 14 years, Nikki has worked her way up at Silver Cross, learning every step of the way, and making friends and gaining mentors.
“I honestly couldn't have done it without my family and my managers/director at the time,” Nikki said, singling out former co-workers: Christine Talerico, Pat Kroesch and Tom Murphy.
“They were very instrumental in my journey. They always pushed me and were very flexible with my schedule the entire time.”
“In the summer of 2009, I worked as a student nurse in Endoscopy and Same Day to gain more patient experience. I passed my boards in February 2011 and accepted a position in the Endoscopy Department on the procedural side as a circulating RN.”
An opening in the Operating Room became available in May 2011, and Nikki has been there ever since. During the last 10 years, she has served as a general surgery team leader, charge nurse, and ultimately the Robotics Program Coordinator.
MaryBeth Antone, Associate Vice President of Operations, says Nikki has been a key member of the team.
“In the 10-plus years I’ve worked with Nikki, I can say without question that her ‘can-do’ attitude is a large part of the reason she’s advanced at Silver. She can think outside the box and works very hard in her current role to maintain clinical excellence in our robotic program. Having started in SPD, she has a unique perspective on the role everyone plays to make these surgeries happen. It’s nice that her ‘roots’ have helped to shape her professional practice as a nurse.”
Marybeth added, “Nikki likes to challenge the status quo, and I’ve always been able to count on her to tell me the real deal. She’s an excellent nurse, confident in her abilities and generous with her talent. I’m so glad she’s ‘grown up’ here and can set an example for others in our organization to dream big!”
Nikki says it’s been easy to remain at Silver Cross all her career, considering the support she receives. “Co-workers are more like family. Our relationships have grown throughout the years.”
Spending time with her family also is important. Nikki’s son, Roberto, the motivator for her nursing career, now is 19. And she and her boyfriend of seven years, Greg, also are raising stepdaughter Ariela, 22, and stepsons, Dominic, 16, Ezekio, 12, and Emiliano, 9.
When Nikki’s not on the job, they enjoy traveling, football (Packers) and doting on their 2-year-old pit bull rescue Tundra.
For those who don’t have a 5-year-old to give them career incentive, Nikki says, get out there and make it happen. “It's never too late to follow your dreams.”