Clinical Director for Surgery at CHRISTUS St. Michael Health System

Liberty Bailey was inspired to be a nurse after the birth of her first child, Morgan, who is now 22-years-old. Liberty is married to Ronny, and they now have two other children, Brycen (15) and Cooper (12). They also have a Goldendoodle, Owen. “My husband and children inspire me every day. My husband is a kind, supportive, family-loving man, and my daughter has overcome substantial health obstacles. However, unless you know her story, you would never know that she had ever been sick,” Liberty says. “And, my boys keep me lifted with their enthusiasm and desire to learn.”

When Morgan was born, she was delivered at UAMS in Little Rock, weighing only 3lbs 5oz. “She had to receive care at Arkansas Children’s Hospital as well as Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago. During all of this time, I witnessed teams of people caring for her and us as her family on a daily basis while they tried to determine the origin and extent of her illness,” Liberty says. “The compassion and attentiveness from the nursing staff were comforting and remarkable.”

After this experience, Liberty decided to pursue her career as a nurse. “The accomplishment that I am most proud of personally and professionally is being able to continue my education. I completed the Vocational Nurse Program at Texarkana College in 2001, completed the transition program to Registered Nurse (RN) at Texarkana College in 2006, and completed my Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) at Texas A&M-Texarkana in 2013,” Liberty says. “I want to be remembered as a good wife and mother, a good friend, and a good nurse.”

Right after finishing her BSN, Liberty immediately started a master’s program. However, she realized that it was not the right time in her life to continue her educational journey. “The sacrifice was coming at the expense of my family due to how much time the program required,” Liberty says. “I withdrew from the program knowing that when the time was right, I could continue pursuing this goal.”  

Liberty has returned to her coursework and will graduate in December 2022 with a master’s in healthcare administration (MHA) through Utica College. “Going to school while raising a family requires dedication and sacrifice,” Liberty says. “I could not have done any of this without the support of my family, friends, and co-workers.”

Looking back over her career so far, Liberty feels that she has benefited the most from starting as a Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) because she was able to learn about the nursing field from every aspect. “LVNs and Certified Nursing Assistants (CNAs) are a vital part of the team with the RN as the team leader. By starting out as something other than a RN, I have an appreciation for the other disciplines,” Liberty says. “While I am now in a leadership role, I feel like this has given me the ability to not only identify with the staff who work along with me but also to understand the challenges.”

The most memorable advice Liberty ever received came after she received a grade on a paper that she did not feel was fair. “My instructor told me that ‘Sometimes life gives you speed bumps,’ and I now use that in other contexts in life,” Liberty says. “God has a plan for my life, not my plan, but His. My favorite verse is ‘Be still and know that I am God’ Psalm 46:10.”   

Attending church is very important to Liberty and her family. They have attended church at Highland Park Baptist Church for the last 14 years, and through the church, they participate in various community events. “I encourage you to visit Highland Park Baptist Church if you do not have a church home,” Liberty says. “We would love to have you join us.”

Liberty loves to be involved in her kids’ activities in her free time. “I also enjoy traveling and just having a lazy day on the couch binge-watching Netflix,” Liberty says. 

No matter what she is doing, Liberty says that she is 100% committed to every task she accepts. Right now, her long-term goal is focused on completing her MHA. “I don’t want to rush life by, but I am ready for the day when I know I have completed and submitted my final assignment,” Liberty says. “I do my best to balance home and work carefully. If I am lacking in any area, I have family, friends, and great co-workers who support me. I have a strong work ethic and am always willing to learn.” 

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