When I was a kid, I wanted to be ... a nurse. When I was little, my parents brought grandparents into our home when they were too sick to care for themselves. The physician made house calls, but we cared for them 24/7, and I was fascinated. One of my aunts was a nurse, and I admired her tremendously. She was my role model and very supportive. My mother was insistent that her daughters be able to support themselves, so we were brought up with the expectation of obtaining an education that resulted in gainful employment. All of us accomplished that, but she thinks I went way overboard.
What would you rather be doing right now? Enjoying the beach life.
Shhhhhh! Don't tell anyone that ... I was an ER nurse before ambulances.
What was your proudest moment? Becoming an RN and being able to further my education.
It really stinks when ... I hear "I don't know" or "It's not my job."
What word in the dictionary would your face be next to? Perseverance. I would not have achieved anything without it. My family would say "stubborn."
I always laugh when ... I'm spending time with the kids or when I watch "Planes, Trains and Automobiles."
Invite any three people, living or dead, to dinner. Who are they? Jesus, just to be in his presence for a few seconds and say thank you; my father, who died when I was 7, because I would love for him to meet his grandkids and great grandkids; and Cara, my oldest niece. She died way too young from cancer. Just want to hug her again.
At the end of a really long day at work, I like to ... read.
People who knew me in high school thought I was ... very quiet and shy.
My most unforgettable brush with greatness was when ... I was fortunate to be working in ER during the formation of the Illinois trauma system, and I had the honor of being the first, and for a while the only, trauma nurse specialist in the Quincy area. When a dignitary such as the president of the United States planned a trip to or near our community, the Secret Service would come through first and interview emergency personnel. I would be mandated as on-call while the dignitary was in our area. The Secret Service wanted me to agree to treat the dignitary as the highest priority. My response was, it depends on the situation and their political persuasion. I learned that the Secret Servicemen have no sense of humor. Fortunately, no dignitary needed emergency care during my time in ER.
I would drop all my plans tonight if I had the chance to ... go to a Neil Diamond concert.
If someone gave me a million dollars, there is still no way I would ... be a Rush Limbaugh fan.
America should be more concerned about ... education of the next generation. They will be the ones to grapple with all the future challenges.
I'm OK if there's ever a national shortage of ... paperback novels â€" in particular, Nora Roberts and other similar authors.
When I'm on the Internet, I always go to ... Amazon. I love to read, and you can now download a book in two seconds.
What is the most useful piece of advice you have ever received? I have two. "It's easier to beg for forgiveness than to ask for permission" (paraphrasing Mark Twain) and "Fake it â€˜til you make it."
When I'm cruising down the road, I'm likely listening to ... '60s music, a book on tape or NPR.
I always get sentimental when ... the kids and I are doing something together.
The older I get, the more I realize ... how precious family is and how we need to live in the moment.
If I had one "do-over," I would ... have finished my educational journey earlier in life.
If I've learned anything at all ... I've learned to be grateful for the many blessings in my life, including family and friends, and working in a profession that I love.
Pamela Brown, 62, is a registered professional nurse and the president/CEO of Blessing-Rieman College of Nursing. She lives in Quincy and shares a home with her mother and older sister. Her younger sister lives in Mount Zion. She has four nephews, one niece, three great-nieces and one great-nephew. She grew up in Decatur. She graduated from the Blessing Hospital School for Nurses in 1972 and earned a bachelor's degree from Quincy University in 1984, a master's degree from SIU-Edwardsville in 1986 and a doctorate from Wayne State University in Detroit in 2004.