“Do one thing every day that scares you.”

November 3, 2017


Spotlight Series by John Lockhart

TIFFANY MONTICINO. . .her mantra

“Do one thing every day that scares you.”  Eleanor Roosevelt

Congratulations, Tiffany, on your newest certification as Family Nurse Practitioner. But first, let’s talk about what drew you to the nursing profession.  Actually, at the beginning, I wanted to be a middle schools literature teacher—but life happened!

And so it does—what happened? Finding myself in foster care as high school ended, I joined the Navy in 1984, followed by boot camp in San Diego. Two years later, I had gone through hospital corpsman school to become a hospital corpsman. I married a Navy man and we had two girls.

As the ‘80s turned into the ‘90s, what happened—By 1990 I was working as a hospital corpsman in San Diego, the same year I had my first child and left the Navy, then my second child was born in 1992. In 1995 it was Guam, my husband’s new duty station as a cardiopulmonary tech. We moved back to San Diego in 1997 where I homeschooled my daughters while continuing my education until I re-entered the workforce as a psychiatric nurse for Sharp Hospital in 2006.  

Did the academic and work experiences bring surprise and challenge?  My top priority, always, is psychiatric nursing.  Every job I’ve had, and through every educational challenge and achievement, I’ve always sought and found ways to help and care for psychiatric patients.  Academically, I’m blessed with high achieving classes with qualified, bright and imaginative colleagues, especially the recent 60-some at Western University in Pomona. From Navy hospital corpsman school, to the AA, on to Bachelor and Master degrees—the Vietnam GI bill helped pay some tuition and book costs—my newest certification is far and away the most challenging, satisfying and fulfilling of my career.

What does the new certification do? It expands what I can do on my own, increases areas of responsibility, such as prescribing medications, advising patients and broadens my autonomy. Translation: I can do more medically for people and help them.

When you first enthused over a recent club breakfast that you had finished the University coursework, you exclaimed, “I have my life back!” How so?  Ah—It’s  bike rides with Debbie, binge-watching “The Handmaid’s Tale” with her, and no day-and-night drives rushing to Pomona and hopscotching through Southern California cities for site and fieldwork. To say nothing of the many nights with three hours of sleep!


Enjoying a well-deserved biking vacation in Ohio after her recent qualifications

“Tiffany,” it’s euphonious, rings romantic, and comes of ancient Greece! Thank my mother! I was named for the 1964 movie, “Breakfast at Tiffany’s.”

How did you discover Front Runners & Walkers? Not so much as I wanted over the past year, but now I can run, participate in events, and go to breakfast. In a way, the club found me. I was dating Debbie Chaddock— she brought me to the club, and I started out walking. To be with Debbie I knew I had to run, and I lost 40 pounds in the process. Eurika Otto, now deceased, was the running partner who stuck with me until I got stronger. The club Pride Run course in Balboa Park was my first 5K.

The club has been described as ‘an eating club’ with a running disorder: add ‘walking’ and ergo, the delicious question: Name three women, living or dead that you would like to dine with. Go home, think about it, and let me know!  No need to: Eleanor Roosevelt, Torre Kosic, and Debbie Chaddock! My inspiration is always Eleanor Roosevelt, my daughter, Torre a wonderful person and the finest cook, and Debbie who changed my life!