“I guess I thought, it’s America — big cities, fashion, bikinis and all of that.”
Carson Valley Medical Center Rehab Aide Priyanka Khosla paused, thinking back to driving into Carson Valley for the first time at the age of 12. Her father had accepted an opportunity to work for Bently Nevada. He’d worked at Bently’s offices in New Delhi, India for much of Priyanka’s life.
“Driving in here, everything was wide open,” she said. “There were cows by the side of the road. It was different than what I expected, but I fell in love with it. We were from New Delhi, which is like Manhattan in its size, and we moved straight to Gardnerville. It was a culture shock.”
“Living here, I was very thankful. It is very quiet. I could actually ride my bike around the cul-de-sac where we lived without having to worry about getting kidnapped. I couldn’t do that in New Delhi. Coming here, it was a great opportunity. My dad felt like he would be able to give his family a life we wouldn’t have been able to realize otherwise.”
Memories of Priyanka’s childhood in New Delhi, though — of watching her grandmother run a charitable women’s health clinic offering free health care to less privileged patients — provided that first spark of inspiration toward a career in healthcare.
“My grandmother’s zeal to do good for the poor and her selflessness influenced my vision toward the medical field,” Priyanka said. “Starting at a young age, I have had a passion to help people, and have striven to emulate the compassionate and approach along with empathy and patience to achieve that.”
Priyanka graduated from Douglas High School in 2008 and later obtained her Bachelor’s degree in neuroscience from the University of Nevada, Reno.
“I knew I wanted to go into healthcare from the time I was 8 years old,” she said. “In India, you’re always being told, ‘Be a doctor, be a doctor.’ But I just didn’t want to be a doctor. Heading into my last year of college, I was trying to figure where I wanted to go and what exactly I wanted to do.”
She began working at Carson Valley Medical Center in 2013, both as a Physical Therapy Aide and later as a Monitor Tech on the Medical-Surgical floor of CVMC’s acute care hospital.
She said she loved both jobs, but began to feel a pull toward nursing as a career.
“I realized that interacting with patients, building rapport and wanting to learn as well as teach were skills I naturally possessed,” she said. “Becoming a nurse became my dream.”
She was accepted into Western Nevada College’s nursing program heading into the 2017-18 school year, and begins her final year in a few weeks.
This past spring, Priyanka was awarded the Carson Valley Medical Center Hospital Foundation’s “Journey Continues” scholarship, given annually to a resident of Douglas County who has already completed a year or more of higher education in pursuit of a degree in healthcare.
“I’m so thankful to the foundation for selecting me as a recipient,” she said. “It meant so much to me, and it means so much that they offer the scholarship program. It’s an unspoken pat on the back — something that motivates you to continue to work hard and press on toward your dreams. As an employee here too, it gives you a sense of pride. CVMC is such a big part of the community and it supports its own.”
The Carson Valley Medical Center Hospital Foundation awards both the Journey Continues scholarship, and the Journey Begins scholarship (given to a graduating senior of a Douglas County high school student planning to pursue a degree in healthcare) annually. Applications are due in April every year.
Visit www.cvmchospital.org/scholarship or call 775-782-1697 for more information on the scholarship program.