Albuquerque nurse discovers new passion after returning to school

Albuquerque News

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – An Albuquerque woman has spent the last 29 years helping others. Debbie Ellzey is 52 years old. “I’ve worked Lovelace, Presbyterian, the VA, pretty much every major healthcare provider in Albuquerque. Even some time in the prison, I did six years in the prison in Los Lunas,” said Ellzey.

As an LPN, Ellzey faced restrictions when it came to patient care at the VA so she made the decision to go back to school at the University of New Mexico to further her degree.

“I wanted to go back and you know get my degree so I could do more for my patients,” said Ellzey. The last time she was at school was back in 1991, so some classes she had to take again. She ended up filling her schedule with an art class.

“I’ve always loved art and I’ve used it to help myself,” said Ellzey. One art class led to another which led to another.

“I was like okay that’s it I’m just going to switch,” said Ellzey. Trading in her scrubs for a paintbrush and graduated with her bachelor’s degree in art but she wants to do more. Her next step is a master’s degree in art therapy so she can continue to help others.

“I always used to tell my kids when I retire I’m going to have my own studio,” said Ellzey. She was scared at first but didn’t want to wait any longer to follow her passion.

“To me, it’s my dream, I finally get to do what I’ve always loved and I get to incorporate it with people which is why I became a nurse,” said Ellzey.

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