Living and working in Guatemala for three years changed Antonette Montalvo’s career trajectory. Today, as a “Visionary Nurse,” she is a US-based community health consultant, a mentor and coach for nurses, a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner, and co-founder of the Montalvo International Community Health Initiative. Her e-book, Visionary Nurse: 90 days of Inspirational Musings on Being Influentially Visionary, will be released in February 2019.

Antonette had her heart set on being a Pediatrician. She earned a Bachelor of Arts in Education Studies (with a Spanish minor) from Emory University, intent on a pre-medicine track. She took the MCATs. And then came an opportunity through Somos Hermanos, a student immersion program for pre-med/pre-health students looking to gain cultural competency. She spent six-months in the program, serving as well as a Health Educator with Primeros Pasos, a nonprofit organization that provides quality prevention and curative care to residents of the Guatemalan highlands. That experience translated into a year-long stint as the In-Country Coordinator for Somos Hermanos, followed by a year as the Executive Director of Primeros Pasos.

“I knew, conceptually, that health and education was something I was trying to meld together, but something was missing for me. It wasn’t until my experience in Guatemala that I started to get a sense of what was possible. I found clarity in nursing—specifically, the role of Nurse Practitioner. There was always a piece of me that was really passionate about teaching and educating and mentoring. Being an NP would allow me to pull together all my interests.”

She made her way to Penn Nursing and graduated with a BSN and an MSN. Clinical work followed—Antonette worked an RN and NP at several Philadelphia hospitals and clinics. And while clinical nursing was fulfilling, she knew there was more she could do.

“I saw the need to bring what I had always been pursuing full-circle,” Antonette says, “changing the landscape of health through innovative and community-oriented interventions that looked alternative to what may seem as the typical clinical arena. After seeing hundreds upon hundreds of patients, that desire to educate, support, and empower communities on a global level re-surfaced.” That need and desire translated into the launch of the Montalvo International Community Health Initiative, an endeavor that called on not just her education but her passion for public health and her experiences as a clinical nurse.

“The Penn Nursing focus of ‘daring to change the world’ propelled me to pack up my bags and family and re-locate to South Carolina, where my parents live, to empower, support, and strengthen the local community through preventive and curative measures that create family-centered and culturally relevant educational, spiritual, social, and clinical initiatives both virtually and locally. Nurses truly are the catalyst for change, and we are strategically placed to take our unique training and experience and impact health in every sector.”

Antonette planned to work as a Pediatric NP while moving her initiative forward; however, securing employment in the rural area she moved to turned out to be challenging—which provided her with an opportunity to be creative about her career as a whole. “It was only a matter of time until I decided to be the change I was looking to create. That, ultimately, birthed the community health consultant business that I am developing today and my branding as a ‘Visionary Nurse’. In addition to working on my health initiative, I offer teaching and mentorship services to nurse professionals, nurses in transition, and students on being a visionary nurse leader, effective collaboration in community health outreach, practical tips for nursing self-care, and effective academic/career transition.

“As part of that, for the last several years I’ve been crafting and compiling all of my inspirational musings that have shaped my Visionary Nurse journey thus far. As a coach and mentor for nurses, I wanted to create a resource that can be used to support, empower, and motivate others to embrace their own visionary influence.” Visionary Nurse: 90 days of Inspirational Musings on Being Influentially Visionary will be available in February 2019; a special edition preview version can be downloaded for free on Antonette’s website prior to the full release.

Additionally, in September of 2018, Antonette presented at the Life by Design, Not by Default summit, a three-day virtual summit that teaches people to live fuller, more intentionally designed lives. Other speakers included Deepak Chopra (spiritual guru), Jen Sincero (#1 NYT best-selling author), Kat Cole (COO of Focus Brands, Former President of Cinnabon), and Ronny Turiaf (NBA Champion and 2-time Olympian), among others.

“I have also started lecturing at the local nursing school, inspiring and influencing students,” Antonette says, “so that as they start and continue their own journey, they too can be visionary in their nursing approach. And in this, I feel I have been making my greatest achievement, inspiring others to be their best selves.”

Connect with Antonette connect on Facebook or LinkedIn, or Instagram/Twitter at aamontalvo1.