Tatianna Clark and her mom, Alicia Miller-Clark

Riverside, Calif. (Aug. 15, 2023) – For Tatianna Clark and her mom, Alicia Miller-Clark, 2023 is a big year. Each will earn a degree from California Baptist University and head out to make a difference in health care.

Clark is graduating with a Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies in August. Miller-Clark will earn her Bachelor of Science in Nursing in December.

They had not planned on being at school at the same time or both attending CBU, but that is where their paths took them. Clark helped her mom apply to CBU, saying she had put her dream of becoming a nurse on hold long enough. Meanwhile, Clark was attending another university and planning to pursue medical research when her plans changed. She landed at CBU after hearing rave reviews from her mom.

Miller-Clark’s work history includes being a phlebotomist, certified nurse assistant and currently a cosmetologist. She wanted to pursue health care because of a son who had sickle cell anemia. He passed away in 2017.

“I saw the health disparities over the years of getting him treatment and help. I thought that I had to do something about this,” she said.

Clark wants to bring preventative and medical care together. She also wants to be a part of the diverse representation in the medical field.

“When you walk in, you already have a certain level of rapport when you see somebody that looks like you,” Clark said. “Being able to bridge that gap is one of my main driving forces.”

Being in similar programs had advantages for the mother and daughter. They understood the lingo and the frustrations. They could share information on a clinical site, if one of them followed the other one. They were often studying the same subject at the same time.

“We could bounce things off of each other, give each other different mnemonic devices to be able to remember things, make up silly songs,” Miller-Clark said. “I wasn't a fan of statistics or chemistry, and I was like, ‘I'm too old to do this.’ And she's like, ‘No. Mom, you can do it. I'll help you.’ She's the whiz.”

Clark and her daughter, Lola, 8, live with Miller-Clark. When Clark was learning how to do stitches, Lola practiced too. She likes animals and wants to be a veterinarian. At first Miller-Clark was not sure how she and her daughter could both go to school and take care of Lola.

“Tatianna said, ‘God will work it out.’ It was definitely a leap of faith,” Miller-Clark said.

Miller-Clark was accepted into Parkview Community Hospital’s student nursing program. She will work closely with an experienced nurse one day a week, with the intent of going full time after she graduates.

Meanwhile, Clark had a rotation at the hospital during July.

“It was a fun experience nonetheless and the rest of the staff got a kick out of it,” Clark said.

Their future goal will keep them together. They want to open wellness centers, where they can offer holistic and preventative medicine.

Miller-Clark appreciates the teaching at CBU that looks at the spiritual aspect of care and transcultural nursing, which provides care that is culturally sensitive and inclusive.

“It helps you to be holistic, and when you're caring for other people, even if you have a different religious belief or background, you're just able to listen,” Miller-Clark said. “The world has just become a smaller place. We're encouraged to go on mission trips. Even if you can't go abroad, you know the mission is right here.”

Clark learned how to approach sensitive topics, including sharing her faith, through simulations and discussions.

“We’re God's hands and feet,” Clark said. “We’re prepared in ways other than just medical or technical skills, ways to be with people based on our background and beliefs has been really helpful.”

Contact CBU Marketing and Communication

Vice President for Marketing and Communication:
Angela Meluski
Email: ameluski@calbaptist.edu

8432 Magnolia Avenue
Riverside, CA 92504