Franklin woman working toward becoming nurse

Published 9:51 am Wednesday, August 22, 2012


FRANKLIN—Angela Holeman has learned the meaning of compassion. So much so that she was re-inspired last year to become a member of the nursing profession.

On Thursday, Holeman earned a certified nurse’s aide diploma from P.D. Pruden Vocational Technical Center in Suffolk. On Tuesday, she began classes at Paul D. Camp Community College for becoming a registered nurse.

The program is one of many available to folks hoping to get an education to improve their lives, said Laverne Copeland, a case manager at the Franklin Redevelopment and Housing Authority.

Holeman was a CNA student years ago, but was interrupted due to health issues attributed in large part to car accidents in 1999 and 2005.

“Nursing has always been a passion of mine,” the Franklin woman said. “The world needs good nurses. The demand is great.”

Holeman is one of 10,000 Americans who have a condition called Arnold-Chiari Malformation, which affects the brain. A 40-year-old single mother of three children, the Pretlow Gardens resident has been in and out of hospitals. Doing so has enabled her to develop a strong sense of empathy because of her frequent contact with nurses.

In addition to that personal experience, she did her clinicals at Nansemond Pointe and Autumn Care nursing homes.

“It did my heart good. I developed a rapport with the elderly just by giving extra care and listening,” said Holeman. Now, “I can look at both spectrums, and I want to make a difference in someone’s life.”

Holeman credits her cheerleading team.

“I owe a lot of people,” she said, and began with Copeland.

“Mrs. Copeland was right there encouraging me,” said Holeman.

“We were in my office,” Copeland said. “I’m always talking to help them (public housing residents) improve their quality of life. Constantly. I’m there for them. Education is the key to success. Without it, it’s so difficult to get a job.”

Vouchers are available to pay for the nurse’s aide program at Pruden.

“The program’s great for single moms,” Holeman said.

“There’s a variety of jobs in the medical field, and opportunities for advancement,” Copeland added.

She has helped other people improve their lives through a life skills class that she coordinates three times a year. The next six-week course starts Monday, Sept. 24.

In addition to learning how to build self-esteem, other subjects include basic computer and job skills, resume writing, how to apply for a job and anger management. Different facilitators help along the way.

The course is offered first for public housing residents then other residents.

Holeman’s children are Shaquira, 17; Zach, 14; and Thomas, 11.