Nurse in scrubs standing in front of a wall

Story 166

There are many roads we walk in life. Some are straightforward. Others take us on a full-circle journey, helping us to land gently right back where we started — our hometown. And for Monse Chan, the hometown that gave her everything is exactly where she wants to be. 

It started in 2014 when Monse’s water broke. It was time to head to the hospital and deliver her first child. It’s said that every pregnancy and every delivery is different, but Monse certainly wasn’t planning on labor lasting a full three days. 

“I was tired. I was unsure, trying my best, and honestly, scared,” says Monse. “The nurses guided me and offered endless support. I felt so cared for. Their support was a gift, and I realized in that moment that I wanted to be able to give that gift to others.” 

Monse decided to put her career on hold to attend school full-time and accomplish her new goal of becoming a registered nurse. She put everything into making this dream a reality. She commuted two hours from her home in Fort Bragg to Santa Rosa Junior College — and back again — multiple times a week. All this while still being an attentive, full-time mother of not one but now two beautiful children. 

While later enrolled in the nursing program at Mendocino College, she spent two semesters at Adventist Health Howard Memorial.

“Everyone was so helpful and welcoming,” says Monse. “They always kept kindness on their minds and in their hearts.” 

With graduation on the horizon, Monse had her heart set on working as locally as possible. She applied to multiple hospitals in and surrounding Mendocino County. But still, in the back of her head, she hoped Adventist Health Howard Memorial would say yes and officially make her part of the family she already felt she belonged to.

The north coast was a part of her. It was where she grew up and where she went to school. The community that raised her and the community where she raised her children. It was where she met the nurses who held her hand through her labor and helped her give birth to her first child. It was where she wanted to stay. Her calling could take her anywhere, but she longed to stay home where her heart was.

In the spring of 2023, her wish became a reality. Monse now works as a registered nurse in the Adventist Health Howard Memorial emergency room and is ready to give back to the community that gave so much to her.