BSN alumna honors sister in nursing journey

Photo of Jada King

By Pareasa Rahimi

Jada King was one month shy of starting college when her older sister, Dejá, passed away. Dejá was born healthy, but at 6 months old, she contracted pneumococcal meningitis, which led to multiple disabilities that required supportive care.

“She had so many seizures that over the course of time, it caused her brain to deteriorate,” King said. “Throughout the years, I helped her with feeding, walking and changing.”

Being a caregiver to her sister ultimately led King to nursing school.

“Compared to most people my age, I had to grow up a little earlier as far as having to take care of my sister, and it was a different level of responsibility, but she also helped me,” King said. “I felt that if I could care for patients like I took care of my sister, I could do that for the rest of my life.”

King, a fifth semester Bachelor of Science in Nursing student at the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Nursing, began her college journey at the University of Alabama and transferred to UAB her junior year to attend nursing school.

Photo of Jada King with her older sister Dejá

“UAB was close to home, and my time here has been so great. Not everyone can say they graduated from one of the top nursing schools in the country,” King said.

King graduates in August and has accepted a position at Children’s of Alabama in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit, where her sister spent time after her diagnosis. King also participated in the Student Nurse Internship Program, a partnership between UABSON and Children’s of Alabama, followed by a preceptorship in the same unit.

“It’s full circle to know my sister was there and now I’ll be working there,” King said. “Sometimes we’re placed in a position and don’t understand why. It wasn’t until four years later that I fully understand. This profession requires patience, passion and compassion, and I thank my sister for preparing me.”

King hopes to return to school to become a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist and wants to work with children with disabilities.

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