SAC Alumna Danielle De La Fuente
February 8, 2018
Danielle De La Fuente decided early in her adult life that nursing would be her career choice, it was just a matter of how she got there.
After graduating from high school at 16, she went to Del Mar College. However, she wasn't quite sure what career path to pursue and had a heart to heart talk with her mother, who was a nurse.
"You're a very caring person, you're always very helpful, I think you'd be a great nurse," her mother confidently said.
After choosing nursing as her major, De La Fuente the took an eight-year hiatus from college to start a family. Though her education was on hold, she continued to learn about nursing by working in the medical field. When her youngest child turned three, she returned to college and enrolled in SAC's Nursing Program in 2002.
At SAC, De La Fuente took evening classes to do her clinical rotations while she coordinated with family to pick up and care for her two children. After graduating in 2004, De La Fuente realized finding a job was not as easy as she hoped.
She loved working with newborns and planned to work in NICU but "God had a different idea" for her. She began working on the telemetry floor at St. Luke's Hospital and fell in love with it as she learned about heart and rhythm and how all the other of the body's systems tied into the heart.
Then, after working at St. Luke's for a year and a half, her father had a heart attack and that ignited a passion to learn even more about cardiovascular care.
De La Fuente now works at the Baptist Hospital Health System (BHS) serving as the Market Director of the Cardiovascular Service Line, which encompasses Cardiology, Electrophysiology, Vascular Surgery, and Cardiothoracic Surgery. She works closely with cardiovascular physicians and administrators helping them achieve excellence in safety, quality, and patient outcomes.
Her day-to-day commitment includes maintaining and developing new programs with a team of specialized nursing coordinators along with Cath Lab and NICL directors
De La Fuente is also working on a master's in nursing.
Looking back, De La Fuente said SAC offered her invaluable support. "I learned a lot from the instructors and they made sure their students knew they would be successful."