"The experience of having my daughter was wonderful," said Rita Cardenas, RN, administrative director of the Center for Women's Health at Staten Island University Hospital (SIUH). "I never had a sister, so having Raquel was that female bond that I've always wanted."
Being a working mom, Rita put her heart into nursing, starting her career as a pediatric nurse, and quickly found herself in the NICU providing specialized care to the most vulnerable babies in the unit.
"I loved working with children, and I loved the experience of working with families," Rita explained. "It was my calling."
She soon moved up the ranks to become the nurse manager, but she never lost sight of her family and the inspiration to her daughter, Raquel.
"I always knew I wanted to go into nursing, it' all I ever thought about," said Raquel Cardenas, RN, a nurse manager at SIUH. "I always waited for that one day of the year, Take your Child to Work Day, because I knew that would be the opportunity to miss school and go to work with my mom and see what it' like to be in the hospital."