Pecos County People
Some people work at their jobs as only a means to provide for their family and live a lifestyle they desire.
Others view their jobs as a something they are good at and have the ability to make a career of it.
For Fort Stockton native Rosalinda Esquivel, her passion and love for nursing is what is leading her to the path of developing the next generation of nurses in Fort Stockton and Pecos County.
“Nursing is my passion. It’s not just a career,” she said. “You have to love it. You have to love it to be a good nurse.”
Making a significant impact in the industry is what the 1996 Fort Stockton High School graduate set out to do from the first day she signed up for a nursing class at Midland College in Fort Stockton.
Her first child, Nathan, was born with a disability and after seeing what his medical providers did from the moment he was born, it sent her down a life-changing path.
“The experience I received at the children’s hospital when he was a newborn, those nurses, that’s what inspired me to become a nurse. They were so awesome, and I wanted to give that back to somebody, the care they showed Nathan and I.”
Not too long after her second son Daniel was born, Esquivel started her nursing classes in 2004 to become a CNA knowing she wanted to work in the labor and delivery and unit.
And just two years later, the lifelong resident of Fort Stockton began her career with Pecos County Memorial Hospital in the labor and delivery unit – an area she still works in from time to time this day.
“Labor and delivery have been my passion and I’ve done that most of my nursing career. My goal was to run the labor and delivery department one day because I wanted to be in charge of that department and make it better,” she said. “Now that I’ve delivered so many babies, I have mothers coming up to me with 14-year-olds saying, “do you remember him?”’
Along with her job, Esquivel continued to garner degrees and broaden her horizons in nursing.
The Pecos County native earned her LVN in 2006 and became an RN in 2009 through Midland College in Fort Stockton while continuing to work at the hospital.
Esquivel continued to gain experience in other areas at PCMH while also working at the nursing home in Fort Stockton for a year.
The mother of three kids has also worked at PCMH in the home health department, the pharmacy, med surg, the emergency room to go along with one year of being the Director of Nurses at the nursing home in town.
Knowing her passion, experience, and being an alumni, Midland College WRTTC Secretary Carmen Rodriguez began to recruit Esquivel to teach at the Midland College Fort Stockton campus.
And in September of 2018, Esquivel finally gave in and decided to volunteer and the campus in Fort Stockton, helping teach in the nursing program.
“Carmen had been trying to get me to work there a long time ago,” she said. “My son was taking college courses and he didn’t have an instructor so he asked if I would help him since he knew I love teaching. So, I went and inquired with Matt and I asked about the teaching position and I started helping them on my days off from the hospital. At that time, I was the labor and delivery manager.”
Just three months later Esquivel turned from a part-time teacher to a full-time instructor and hasn’t regretted it for one moment since.
“I started helping at the college part time and I loved it. I got really attached to the kids and I wanted to be there every day to guide them through their journey as they started their college careers,” she said. “These kids, I teach them but I feel like I take these kids under my wing and I guide them. I hope that I can make a difference in a few of these kids’ lives and they become nurses. Some of them have potential to be great nurses. They’re going to be the ones taking care of us when we’re old.”
But Esquivel wasn’t done adding accomplishments to her resume.
The Fort Stockton native earned her Bachelor of Science in Nursing this past November from Grand Canyon University – all while managing her teaching duties, working at the hospital on weekends, and being a mother – her youngest child being her 5-year-old daughter Aria.
On top of that, her father passed away in October and half her family came down with COVID-19, including herself.
“Don’t ask me how I did it, but I did. Last year was a tough year for me,” she said. “My dad was really sick. He passed away on Oct. 2. I still manage to graduate in November after my dad passed away. I had COVID for two weeks, still managed to do homework and teach classes online cause they were interactive.”
Esquivel had 86 of the credits hours already done through midland college and finished the final 34 hours over the past year and a half.
The mother of three said she couldn’t have done without her family and having god in her corner.
“My husband Art, he’s been my support in this journey,” she said. “God gives me the strength to go through all of this.”
This upcoming July will mark 15 years she has worked at PCMH and in September, Esquivel will reach the two-year mark at Midland College WRTTC.
When reflecting on her journey thus far and what lies ahead, Esquivel knows the path she took into the nursing profession is one of the best decisions she’s made in her life.
“That’s one of the smartest things in my life is pursuing my career in nursing because I just love it,” she said. “I feel like our community is so good and I love working here. These kids are so eager to learn in my classes. They listen to everything I say. Some of these kids don’t have the direction they need and I’m going to be it for them.”