Jeanetta Stomer, DNP, APRN, FNP-C, has always wanted to be a nurse, ever since she played “hospital” with her dolls as a child. Now, Stomer is passing on the craft of nursing to students at Aspire Healthcare Solutions, a school she co-founded.
Stomer is the CEO and academic director at Aspire Healthcare Solutions, located in Florissant, which trains students to become certified nursing assistants (CNAs) and phlebotomists. The four-month program to become a CNA also connects students with a nursing mentor who will help them navigate their future career path.
Stomer’s own path through the nursing field is paved with degrees. She started out as medical assistant, then became a licensed practical nurse (LPN) and obtained a bachelor’s degree in nursing. Most recently, she earned the highest degree in the field, a doctorate of nursing practice (DNP).
“I love what I do,” Stomer said. “It’s all I know.”
DNPs can practice medicine in any clinical setting. Stomer worked for a time as a professor of nursing, but what she really wanted to do was reach people on the ground floor of their medical training as they began a new career. One day, she said, she “woke up” with the idea for Aspire and found an investor.
The school is now in its second year, and Stomer’s students are diverse.
“You get people who are hairdressers, people who worked at Walmart, people who just got out of school,” Stomer said.
Working with students who are just starting their CNA training, Stomer said, gives her the chance to teach them foundational skills and help them determine whether nursing is the right field for them.
“You really have to take care of people in every way, holistically, 100 percent,” Stomer said.
Aspire graduated a class of seven students last year, its first in operation. This year, it has around 30.
Stomer is always reaching out to prospective new students, including working with Missouri Career Center and the St. Louis Agency on Training and Employment (SLATE) to connect with jobseekers. She also aims to meet students where they are in terms of finance and help them find an affordable way to pay tuition.
Stomer said she has high hopes for expanding Aspire in the future. She has already reached far beyond the goal that felt lofty when she started her career, becoming a registered nurse.
Alison Clemons, who works as the director of Medical Management at Anthem, said Stomer always works to give back to the healthcare field by mentoring others.
“Jeanetta is a very caring person who always puts others first, whether it is on a personal or professional level,” Clemons said. “She worked tirelessly to open her CNA school so that she can help others start their careers in the healthcare field. Jeanetta is a very spiritually grounded person who certainly walks by faith.”
Many of the stories Stomer hears from prospective students are about deciding they want to work in healthcare after caring for a sick family member. This, she said, is one of the things that lets her know the student has the right temperament for the profession.
“We try to look for the compassion and the passion of helping people,” Stomer said. “It takes a lot of love, a lot of time, a lot of believing in yourself to help someone.”