Giesa Español’s nursing career has taken her from Hollywood, Florida to Hollywood, California, and even as far as Rome.
Giesa currently works as a registered nurse in Florida, treating adult patients on the medical-surgical floor as well as COVID-19 patients.
She came to the U.S. from the Philippines in 2008, just two days after graduating from college with a bachelor’s degree in communication.
While Giesa was in college, Oprah Winfrey became a huge inspiration for her. Oprah made her feel like she could do anything. It was Giesa’s childhood dream to become a television personality, and she “wanted to be the Asian Oprah.”
“I imagined landing in Hollywood, California, and instead I landed in Hollywood, Florida,” she says.
Giesa went back to school to study nurse informatics, which is a field in nursing that involves developing communication and information technologies in healthcare. Nurse informaticists can serve as educators, researchers, software engineers and chief nursing officers.
Her aunt — also a nurse — told her about this field of study, and Giesa thought it would combine her background in communication with healthcare in a useful way.
However, her journey did not go as planned. Giesa ended up failing out of her nursing program, and she could only re-enter the program by becoming a licensed practical nurse (LPN), nurses who provide assistance to registered nurses. She passed her test to become an LPN and enrolled back into her program, but she failed again.
Giesa worked as an LPN and a patient experience liaison, in which she acted as an intermediary between hospital departments and patients and families to bring about the most effective healthcare treatment and positive hospital experience. She enjoyed this role because she could ensure that patients were having a positive experience during their hospital stay.
After a year, her friend told her about a program that she could complete to become a registered nurse. It involved a 10-week review program to review for the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX), the nationwide examination for the licensing of nurses in the U.S.
During this time, it was hurricane season in Florida, and the exam computers were not functioning properly. So, Giesa had to travel to a different testing center three hours away in Orlando, Florida, to take the test the very next day.
She managed to make it to Orlando on time and took the 265-question exam in four hours.
“I was sure that I did not pass — like there was no way,” Giesa says. “It was the most intense feeling. But I passed!”
Giesa has been a registered nurse since 2015.
Although nursing was not always Giesa’s first choice, she discovered that it came naturally to her with her sociable, bubbly personality. She loves connecting with her patients and learning about their lives.
One of her patients nominated her for a Daisy Award, which recognizes nurses for outstanding care.
In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, Giesa started working as a travel nurse and had the opportunity to visit Hollywood, California this past year. She even got to meet her idol, Oprah Winfrey, during a virtual class. The topic for this class was empathy and compassion, and being a nurse helped her to be cast as a guest on the virtual class.
“It was a whole 360 for me,” she says. “I finally got to meet Oprah. This has been the dream.”
Nursing has opened doors for Giesa in the entrepreneurial world. Through nursing, she can not only invest in her dreams, but also help others while she does it.
Throughout the past couple of years, Giesa has become interested in nurse coaching, which involves providing health, wellness and life coaching to other nurses. She is working on creating her own nurse coaching business to inspire other nurses to live their best lives.
“Nursing is part of us, but not all of it,” Giesa says.
To Giesa, being an entrepreneur is about personal growth. She became inspired by other authors and coaches, including Tony Robbins and Napoleon Hill, who have written self-help and personal growth books.
Nursing and nurse coaching has brought her a community of people who inspire each other.
In November, she will be participating in a nursing conference in Rome where she will be giving a speech titled “How the Pandemic Happened For You and Not To You” to give a more positive perspective in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Giesa lives by the motto of “life happens for me, not to me,” and this is the foundation of her nurse coaching. She has been partnering with coaching brands like Unleash the Power Within and World System Builder to host online events about financial literacy and entrepreneurship. Giesa hopes to launch her own coaching business in the near future, specifically for nurses.
Giesa is a firm believer in setting clear intentions for ourselves and asking ourselves what we want to accomplish.
“Not only ‘she can be both’ — she can be all!” Giesa says. “[She Can Be Both] is really advocating for people to explore the world and to feel everything. Permission to do whatever you want to do.”