Misty Blue Foster: Becoming a Nurse While Overcoming Spina Bifida

Editor’s Note: The race of life is not a 100-yard sprint. Life is a marathon, a long distance run often over treacherous terrain that requires strength, endurance and single-mindedness of purpose. For many, just finishing the course is a major achievement. But others choose to endure the pain and push their bodies and minds to the limits and win. Such is the case of Misty Blue Foster, who at a very-young age set her sights on being a nurse, although physically and financially, she appeared to have no way to reach that goal.

Misty Blue Foster is a strong woman who is passionate about serving others and her nursing career.

Misty Blue Foster is a strong woman who is passionate about serving others and her nursing career.

Question: Misty, please tell us some of your background.

Foster: Right now I’m pursuing a bachelor’s degree in nursing, and I already have a two-year degree that qualifies me as a licensed nurse. I go to school eight hours a day and work eight hours a day as a nurse. Even though the schedule is quite rigorous, I love what I’m doing and learning. I love serving others.

I’ve decided to get a bachelor’s degree instead of just a two-year degree because it will enable me to advance in my job. I want to be a nurse practitioner or teach nursing, and both require at least a bachelor’s degree.

These jobs will help me financially. I’ve been in some form of nursing since I graduated from high school. I started off as a caregiver, and then worked as a nursing assistant. In 2009, after completing two years of college, I received my license.

I always wanted to become a nurse, since the nicest people throughout my life had always been nurses and people in the healthcare industry. I grew up without a family and had an extremely difficult early life, but every time I went to the hospital or to see my doctor, someone with a friendly smile was always there and had a genuine concern for me. Because of the friendliness of the nurses I came in contact with, I decided that was the kind of person I wanted to be when I grew up.

I have Spina Bifida. When I was born, my spinal cord was open and exposed. I also have cloacal exstrophy. Although most people with Spina Bifida are tied to a wheel chair, I am not. I had surgeries on my spine, spinal cord and pelvis when I was younger. The surgeries enabled me to walk.

Although Misty spent time in the hospital as a child due to surgeries, she is fortunate enough to walk on her own.

Although Misty spent time in the hospital as a child due to surgeries, she is fortunate enough to walk on her own.

The doctor who’d been treating me most of my life helped me get into nursing school. I had my physical for nursing school in my doctor’s office, and he wrote a note that said, “Misty has all these problems medically. However, she’s perfectly capable of working. She’s smart, and she can do anything that everyone else can do; she just may have to do it a little differently.”

Although I was accepted into nursing school, I got a kidney infection during my first semester and was asked to leave the nursing program because I had too many absences. The program did not allow students to be absent. However, I had a friend who was a lawyer. He told the admissions people, “She had the highest grades in the class before she got sick. It wasn’t her fault or her desire to be sick. Everyone gets sick at some time.” My lawyer and I had to fight the system to get me back into nursing school. When I finally started back, I had to start from the beginning. I was very frustrated because I had to retake some of the material I had already passed with an A. I knew there was nothing I could do except feel fortunate that I was allowed back into the nursing program.

Misty smiles because she is grateful for her education that will help her advance in her nursing career.

Misty smiles because she is grateful for her education that will help her advance in her nursing career.

When I finished that two-year course, I graduated with honors and a 4.0 grade point average. Right now I only take two or three classes at a time, because of my work schedule. However; with the way things are going right now, I should finish my four-year degree in two more years. I work at the veterans’ hospital in Palo Alto,California. I worked in cardiology and the clinics for 3 years. Currently, I work with blind and injured patients.

Question: How did you get this job?

Foster: I applied. I think many times that’s where people who’ve been injured miss the boat. They wrongfully assume that they cannot get a job because of their injury or sickness, so they don’t even apply. Of course you have to be qualified for that job and go through the interview process. One of the advantages I have is that I can walk–thanks to my surgeries. Since I have scoliosis and had spinal fusion, I walk differently than other people. I am not sure how I walked when I was young, but according to my medical records it appears that I walked sideways until I had surgery to correct it.

I’ve been asked, “How far do you plan to go with your nursing career?” My answer is, “As far as I can.” If I can afford it, I want to pursue a master’s degree and a nurse-practitioner degree.

Next: Misty Blue Foster Escaped from Physical, Emotional and Mental Abuse

  About the Author: For the last 12 years, John E. Phillips of Vestavia, Alabama, has been a professional blogger for major companies, corporations and tourism associations throughout the nation. During his 24 years as Outdoor Editor for “The Birmingham Post-Herald” newspaper, he published more than 7,000 newspaper columns and sold more than 100,000 of his photos to newspapers, magazines and internet sites. He also hosted a radio show that was syndicated at 27 radio stations; created, wrote and sold a syndicated newspaper column that ran in 38 newspapers for more than a decade; and wrote and sold more than 30 books.  Learn more at http://www.nighthawkpublications.com

About UroMed Catheters
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6 Responses to Misty Blue Foster: Becoming a Nurse While Overcoming Spina Bifida

  1. Pingback: Misty Blue Foster’s Difficult Early Life Lead to Her Nursing Motivation « UroMed Catheter Health Blog

  2. Isabel says:

    This story is amazing! i too have spina bifida… and with many surgeries and the help of leg braces on both legs, i can also walk…As i was growing up, i always wanted to be a nurse because like you, the doctors and nurses were amazing…unfortunatley, my doctor said to look into another career because there is alot of lifting involved…I now do zumba, (dancing/excercising)…my dream is to become a zumba instructor one day and be an inspiration to others also with disabilities…Thank you for sharing your story! I hope to be able to share my story somehow someday!

  3. Mariano says:


    Your story is amazing! My son also was born with spina bifid a, besides him not walking he is completely healthy!

    Can you please tell me what kind of surgeries did you get that help you walk?

    If you like you can email me to mospina85@gmail.com

    Thank you so much for your info.

    And I wish you many blessings in your future and that you may be able to heal a lot of people!

  4. Carrie Cornelius-Kaelin says:

    You are an inspiration Misty! I was recently diagnosed with spina bifida occulta which presented all of a sudden and caused massive debilitation and anguish. I had sudden pain, paresis, and couldn’t void anymore. As a result, I had an emergent L4-S1 Spinal Fusion and doing well for the most part. I am having a really hard time with neuropathy in my legs, especially at night. Any advice? I also work in healthcare and I’m currently pursuing my Masters in Healthcare Admin. This all “began” around the end of the first week of January and I had surgery on January 13th (just before my birthday). I am now 32-years-old.

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