We are Andrea and Andia Berry, we are twin sisters, and we are both nursing instructors at UPMC Shadyside School of Nursing. UPMC feels like our second home, and the work we get to do as faculty has allowed our lives and careers to come full-circle. 

A Dream Begins

As kids, we grew up watching our mom work at UPMC Braddock. She inspired us with her strength and set an example of hard work and determination in her role as a lab technician. Because of our mom’s job at UPMC, practicing medicine was just something we knew we wanted to do since we were kids. We both agree: we never wanted to do anything else. 

We both had a dream of being nurses in the labor and delivery ward, taking care of mothers and new babies. With this dream in mind, we decided to go to nursing school together and then went on to work at UPMC Braddock and Magee-Womens Hospital of UPMC together. Whether it was in nursing school or at the hospital, we provided support and kept each other motivated towards our goals. We pushed ourselves because we wanted to set a good example to anyone watching. 

A Dream Comes Full Circle

As we mentioned, we both started as nursing externs at Braddock back in 2005, and our careers have continued from there! Andrea has been a full-time faculty member at UPMC Shadyside School of Nursing since 2016, and she was an adjunct for two years prior. Andia is a full-time faculty member since 2017, but she also worked there as an adjunct instructor since 2015. 

In the years we were working in a clinical setting, we both had a lot of experience being a preceptor to new nurses, which overlaps with many of the same skills that we practice as faculty members with Schools of Nursing. A preceptor introduces a new nurse to the clinical environment using creativity, facilitation skills, a positive attitude, and patience. Our experiences as preceptors prepared us for the roles of teacher and mentor that we have now taken on as faculty. Creativity, responsibility, positivity, and patience are all things we bring to the classroom or hospital and things we try to ingrain in our nursing students as important skills in this profession. 

The faculty that we work alongside here at UPMC Shadyside Schools of Nursing all bring their own lessons, wisdom, and skills to the table, as well, and each person brings something unique to offer their students! We are all different, but we each bring a lot to the table, just like any family. 

Our fellow faculty members are intelligent, fearless, and compassionate leaders, and each faculty member cares about the students we teach. Andia is trying to relate to the students in a way that promotes not only learning, but also respect, and Andrea loves seeing the excitement on her students’ faces when they connect classroom learning to clinical situations. 

A Dream Passed On

As we continue to teach the next generation of nurses, we leave them with this encouragement: if we can do it, you can, too. 

We both had to get student loans to pay for school, so we worked on the weekends to help supplement what the student loans could not pay for. We worked hard, studied, cried, and called our mother every day for encouragement. Having each other was a huge encouragement, as well. 

In our roles as nursing faculty, we are here to support nursing students who are just like we were. We tease each other about our shared experiences, but we agree we could not have done this alone. That’s what motivates us both to be the mentors we are today and to do the work we do as faculty in the UPMC Schools of Nursing. 

Together, we are empowering the next generation of nurses to work for UPMC and become part of a legacy of life changers. 

UPMC Schools of Nursing serves a diverse group of students whose unifying characteristic is their passion for patient care. Whether a recent high school graduate or a second-degree student, there’s a place for you at UPMC Schools of Nursing. Learn more and schedule a tour.

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