Diana’s Nursing Journey
When Diana Ortiz was 17, she became a single mom to her first child. She was attending school for teaching while also working part-time at a nursing home. She did not plan to become a nurse, but a few of her coworkers would constantly tell her how she would make a great nurse because of her compassionate and caring nature.
One of her coworkers encouraged her to apply for loans and grants for Latin American students and for single moms, and she went on to become a nurse at the same nursing home where she worked.
“Working with the geriatric patients pulls at my heart strings,” she says. “They are so full of wisdom.”
Diana constantly strives to go above and beyond for her patients and their families. She had one patient who appeared to be on the verge of death, battling cancer and facing an adverse reaction to his medication. His family was not sure he was going to wake up, and all of a sudden one morning, in Diana’s care, he woke up and began talking. She then called the family and put the patient on the phone for them to hear.
“I totally could have just waited to tell [the patient’s daughter], but I knew this would mean the world to her,” she says. “Every time I think about that moment, I smile. It makes all of the craziness worth it.”
She always builds relationships with her patients instead of just focusing on the medication, ensuring she gets to know them on a personal level. At the end of 2020, she left bedside nursing and decided to pursue school nursing instead, which she loves.
Diana’s Modeling Journey
Diana always loved participating in photoshoots, and at 18 she began meeting with photographers to collaborate.
“I always liked modeling,” Diana says. “I got linked up with agencies that hire promotional modeling for company events, like promoting at concerts. I was doing that on the side along with working at the nursing home.”
When she met her husband, he was not a fan of her modeling at first. As time went on, though, he became interested in photography and learned how to shoot on his own. He started taking pictures of Diana for practice and making YouTube videos featuring Diana.
The two have become successful together. The renowned Sony Corporation purchased a picture of Diana that her husband took, and the photograph ended up being used in a BestBuy advertisement. She and her husband have also participated in photo walks, where a company will fly them out to speak at photography workshops and teach about photography.
Diana’s Inspiration and Advice
Q: Is it difficult to find balance between your different roles? How do you do it?
There’s a pretty good balance. It is a lot of work sometimes, but I get to help my husband with his photography. There is no way I could never not be a nurse. Once you’re a nurse, you’re always a nurse.
Sometimes it’s really hard to be a nurse because you’re not always appreciated. But if I can change one person’s life — one person’s world — that keeps me going. Knowing I can change someone’s life by being there for them and being kind — for me, that keeps me going.
Q: What advice would you give to other women based on your experiences?
If you have a goal in mind, try not to let any fear paralyze you. Don’t become discouraged by others who may be more successful. Remember why you’re there, and take it one step at a time.
Q: What does “she can be both” mean to you?
“She can be both” is women’s empowerment for me. I love where we’re at, because 10 to 15 years ago, society would pit women against each other. We’re not doing that anymore, and I’m so here for it! I love it!