At The Children’s Center Rehabilitation Hospital, our employees truly are the heartbeat that drives the organization. Every day, through the care and service they provide, they live our mission of maximizing the potential of every child and exemplify our core values of compassion, integrity, excellence, service and stewardship.
We hope you enjoy getting to know our amazing employees through our Heartbeat profiles.
“From Philly, with Love”
RN finds her calling after a cross-country move
Ericka Stevens and her husband were just married when they moved from Philadelphia to Midwest City in 1992. They had visited family in Lawton over the holidays and were ready for a fresh start in Oklahoma, where life felt calmer, people were friendly, and the cost of living was lower.
Ericka worked here and there, but when she decided she needed a “real” job, she turned to nursing. She worked as a CNA doing home health, and started LPN school in 2002, which brought her to The Children’s Center Rehabilitation Hospital (TCCRH).
“On my first day, my clinicals were in Unit 9. It was so clean, everyone was so nice, and I was just so impressed,” she recalls. Ericka’s instructor recommended her as a new hire, and the rest is history.
“What drew me to working here was the Christian atmosphere,” Ericka says. “The kids were so well cared for and everyone loved the kids. I felt like it was a ministry for everyone that worked here at the time to take care of the kids – like a calling. And I wanted to feel that too, to join in on that.”
Dedicated to nursing and her work caring for the children at TCCRH, Ericka returned to school in 2008 to become an RN. At the time, she had a two-year-old daughter and was pregnant with her son – a challenging time to tackle school, work and being a mom – but she succeeded. In 2019, she returned to school again and earned her bachelor’s degree in nursing.
Ericka cut back to occasional shifts at the hospital recently to help her own kids, now 12 and 14, deal with changes caused by the pandemic. Her hope is to return to full-time, but she’s appreciative of the support she’s received from the hospital.
“If you need help, there’s always somebody there to help you,” she says of the hospital. “I feel like they’ve always been supportive of me going back to school and schedule changes.”
This devoted mom takes care of husband, home, kids, her dog and her plants. You can find her outdoors, getting her daily steps in, or keeping her kids on track with remote learning and other activities.
You might not know: “Everyone thinks I’m an extrovert, when I’m actually an introvert.”
Favorite Movies: The Avengers series
Dream weekend: “Renting a condo at the beach, getting up in the morning to walk the beach with a cup of coffee. Just having a little peace. Maybe a little fishing, some seafood and some really good music.”
From the bucket list: “Travel to Germany and Japan. Become a travel nurse when my kids are grown so my husband and I can see more of the country.”
Thoughts on Black History Month: “Black history should be celebrated. When I’m talking to my kids about history, I always tell them to be proud of who you are, be proud of the fact that you’re black, that you’re resilient and that we have come so far. I think the ancestors are rejoicing at the progress we’ve made.”