BURLINGTON, N.C. – Every day is different for Jennifer Bradsher, RN. As nurse manager for the Charles Drew Community Health Center in Burlington, her responsibilities include managing the community health center’s nursing staff, managing the center’s storage and supplies, and helping provide care for patients.
But the Burlington native takes the challenge in stride. “It keeps you on your toes,” she said of the many hats she wears.
Bradsher said her previous work prepared her for a nursing career – including work in a factory.
“I was working the third shift, which they call the graveyard shift, and trying to raise two kids on my own and trying to make ends meet,” she said.
Seeking a better life, Bradsher attended the nursing school program at Alamance Community College, completing it in 1994 and earning an associate nursing degree to become a registered nurse. She said her children – twin daughters – kept her motivated while she pursued her degree. She was also encouraged by her family and her then boyfriend, Derrick, who is now her husband.
“I had a lot of family support to help me with my girls,” Bradsher said.
She began her nursing career as a float nurse working in a variety of medical departments before working in the Alamance County Health Department. Bradsher worked there for eight years, starting as a case manager for tuberculosis patients and later working in the immunization, women’s health and maternity areas.
Her career also includes working as a nurse for the Alamance County Jail and at Alamance Regional Medical Center.
Bradsher joined the staff at the Charles Drew Community Health Center in May 2007. She loves working with and helping to care for the variety of patients who visit the health center.
“I enjoy talking to the elderly patients because they’re so wise and they have the best stories,” she said. “And I love children because they’re learning and they’re funny.”
Bradsher also appreciates how the center’s staff is committed to providing quality health care to patients, a vital need for any community.
“We are a community health center and we are here to serve an underserved population,” she said. “A lot of our patients just wouldn’t be able to go elsewhere if it wasn’t for community health centers.”
Now, at age 51, Bradsher lives in Burlington with her husband. The couple has been together for 24 years and married for 19 years.
Bradsher’s daughters are now 30 years old. She also has a 29-year-old stepdaughter, Jessica, who is married with a 2-year-old son. Bradsher and her husband also have a 15-year-old son Derrick Jr., or “DJ.”
In her spare time, Bradsher enjoys spending time with her family. She also likes working on home maintenance and improvement projects, including yard work.