Spotlight on Grace Coley, RN MS, of First Crown Health Care

| May 23, 2013
Grace Coley photo

Grace Coley, RN MS is founder and president of First Crown Health Care where she teaches Nurse Aid classes. (Courtesy photo)

UP CLOSE WITH JEANIE By Jeanie Summerville

Whatz up, babies?

Have I got a treat for you today. You see, sometimes in this thing called life, we or someone whom we know has been or is currently in a hospital or nursing home due to some form of illness. And, I don’t know about you, but people are always sharing with me about how they are or were mistreated and/or mishandled in these facilities by the nurses aides. Well, it brings me great joy to bring to you this week’s spotlight because she has the courage, love and compassion to do to something about it. She’s teaching her students how to take great care of their patients and to give them the utmost respect and I love that. So, if anyone has to go to the hospital or nursing homes, I sure hope that one of her students are there to take care of us. On that note just sit back, relax and enjoy the beauty in what she has to say.

“Hello, Frost Illustrated readers. My name is Grace S. Coley and I’m the founder, RN and MS president of First Crown Health Care Inc., that’s located at 3711 Rupp Dr., Suite 101 here in Fort Wayne and I teach State Certified Nurse Aid classes. First Crown Health Care Inc., was founded in 2004 and I’m a registered nurse with over 28 years of nursing experience. For several years, I was a nursing instructor at the college level and I obtained my undergraduate and graduate degree from University of St. Francis in Joliet, Ill., and completed classes towards a Ph.D. program. 

“I decided to branch off from the hospital because I realized that a lot of nursing students were coming in and did not actually know the basis of nursing. So I wanted to get the opportunity to work with students that are interested in nursing on a one to one basis. We don’t have a big classroom setting, it’s smaller. That’s because I can spend more time with each student as I demonstrate how to really take care of the people that are sick and misfortunate than we are. My philosophy as an educator is to teach, work alongside and encourage each student to reach their maximum potential and educational goal. I encourage anyone that’s interested in becoming a nurses’ aid to come to First Crown Health Care Inc., because First Crown Health Care Inc., is the place where things are happening. 

“Our objective is to successfully assist individuals who are seeking to become healthcare professionals meet their educational goals. We’re doing things on a smaller scale but the dedication of the instructor myself and my two substitute instructors speaks for itself. We have a very high percent rate about 98 to 99 percent for the students that take and pass the State Board Exam which covers written and practical. I think that we have this high percentage rate because we have that one-on-one and the students here have the freedom to ask questions. At the beginning of each class, I let them know right up front, don’t be afraid to ask questions and not only that, those who are in the classroom and think each of those questions by different individuals might sound stupid, I want them to keep those comments to themselves. Because this is a place where each student has the opportunity to ask questions in order for them to succeed.

“We’re approved by the Indiana State Department of Health to teach the Indiana State Department of Health 105-hour Certified Nurse Aide Program. We have classes on a monthly basis and our day shift classes, which are full time and run for three and a half weeks Mondays thru Fridays from 7:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.. In the classroom setting. They’re working on the theory part of things and their demonstrations for the different procedures for 30 hours. We do a variety of demonstrations on a mannequin that we call Lizzy and whether it’s bathing her, combing her hair and etc., they learn it. And, sometimes the students want to volunteer so I give the students the opportunity over Lizzy. 

“On the days that we go to the nursing homes, we start at 6:30 a.m., and finish at 3 p.m. We go to the nursing homes because the state requires each student to have hands on experience for at least 75 hours in the clinical setting. They have 48 procedures that they must do hands on and be very competent in doing, such as bathing and feeding the patience, before they can take the State Board Exam. So actually, the procedures that they’re taught in the classroom, they do hands on at the nursing homes. 

“The number of students that have graduated from First Crown Health Care Inc., so far is almost 90 and they come from all walks of life. I’ve had students who were entering medical school and wanted this experience too and I was happy to give them that opportunity. I’ve had students that have worked in the factory settings for 30 to 40 years and have been laid off and they wanted to start something new. I’ve also had students that just want a fresh start in life. I’ve dedicated my time and my life to give them the actual help that they need to get these skills to go out and do something well with their lives. 

“It’s always a joy at graduation time for all of us and I try to have a graduation ceremony for each of my groups because I think that each person that graduates from First Crown Health Care Inc., is very special. So, they’re given a rose at the time of graduation along with their certificate the let them know how special they are—not only to their family members but to me because they chose us so they can do something productive with their lives. The different graduation students are crying while saying, ‘I’ve never received a rose before.’ Once they graduate, there are numerous places where they can work such as nursing homes, hospitals, home healthcare, rehabilitation/convalescent centers, hospice, private duty, clinics and some doctors’ offices. A lot of people that like the fast pace go straight to the hospital setting and they can make about $33,000 a year plus benefits if they work full time. 

“Nursing has been my passion since I was a child. I’m from Jamaica and the city where I am from had an infirmary that had a lot of poor people that were sick. And, at the age of 13, I was singing with church groups and we would go there to sing and my heart was really touched and overwhelmed just seeing people suffering and crying. Every time I would visit, I’d come out crying, weeping like I was in pain from somebody whipping me. So I said, I need to make a difference in the lives of these people that are suffering or hurting and that’s when I decided I wanted to do nursing and I have no regrets that I entered this noble profession. 

“That’s why I try to encourage people to get into nursing but it takes dedication because it’s not glamorous like you see on television where they’re looking nice and crisp because you have to go down and do some dirty work. For instance, if your patient call light goes off and he has bowel movements with loose stools all the time, you’ll have to be dedicated enough and say, ‘I’m going to make sure that Mr. Brown is comfortable even if he has a bowel movement a million times.’ That’s the type of dedication that we teach here and I’d like to see people, no matter what comes what may, that have that special commitment to take care of the sick. 

“To anyone that’s interested in getting into this field, I’d like say, this is a profession where you will have great fulfillment apart from job security. The hours are flexible and you can go into so many different areas once you come into nursing and I encourage you to. Because they’re looking for people that are really dedicated and that love to take care of people that are sick. You’ll also have to look at times when you’re going to be spoken down to and you’re going to feel like, ‘what’s the use being in this profession?’ But, you have to look past all of that because in every career they have that kind of power struggle and so you must be dedicated if you’re going to last. This profession takes sacrifice and dedication. But if you’re getting into it just for the money you won’t last very long.

So, if you’d like to be a part of this field, call me at (260) 580-8333 to schedule an appointment since registration in person is required. We also offer CPR and first aid classes and we’re looking, in the near future, to have a couple of other classes available. For more information on First Crown Health Care Inc., please visit our website at First Crown Health Care Inc.

“God has sent me into this field and I pray for all of my students to myself because I genuinely care about them. GOD is my main focus and HE’s the one that brings me through and my husband Donovan, is a great encourager and he’s always praying for me and I’d like to thank him for that. He’s been a part of my journey from day one, pretty much.”

So now in closing I say, “Fantastic job Mrs. Grace Coley! I’m so proud of you and I know that GOD is too, and, after spending some quality time with you during your spotlight, on our journey of love, I thank GOD for you and others like you that are genuine.” And, to those that doesn’t know or remember who her husband Donovan is, he’s the Rev. Donovan Coley, executive director of the Fort Wayne Rescue Mission. So until next week, you’ve been Up Close with Jeanie. Bye bye, babies.

P.S. If you would like the spotlight shined upon you or someone that you know, all in the name of love, just send me an e-mail to I’d love to hear from ya.


This article originally appeared in the May 22, 2013 print edition.

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Category: Health, Local

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