Magda Castaneda, BSN, RN, CNN, HTC
Magda was born in 1972 in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Her mom was a nurse and her dad a member of the U.S. ARMY. When she was 2 years old the family moved to Alaska relocated by the U.S. ARMY.
Her dad, her mom, her oldest brother and she got stationed in Anchorage. At the time her mom was expecting and soon gave birth to her younger sibling; a baby boy. The family lived in Alaska for 3 years and then moved to California; again her dad had been relocated by the U.S. Army. By then Magda was about 5 years old and had started school back in Alaska and continued her elementary education in California. She learned very quickly and as her mom always said she was the one that had the most “guts”…she liked to take risks.
After a couple more years the family was again relocated by the U.S. Army, this time back to her beautiful island…Puerto Rico. During her first few years back in P.R. the family lived in the military base and then eventually transitioned out of the base to the civilian life. She went to study at a private Catholic school and graduated with honors.
Magda scored the second highest grade in the San Juan region for the College Board exam. (1990).At age 17 she decided to join the U.S. Army and in June 1990 she departed to the U.S.
This time around she moved to Fort Jackson, South Carolina to receive her basic training. Things were really tuff and the experience was challenging. As she said: “I had many factors that did not favor me: Hispanic, women and my height (5’1”)”. Although it was very hard, Magda did not give up and completed her basic training in August 1990. Shortly after her basic training graduation she was relocated to Fort Lee, Virginia to complete her advanced individual training (AIT). At her advanced training a sergeant noticed something special in her and named her “squad leader”.
At the early age of 18 and against the factors she thought were not in her favor, Magda was acting as a leader in the U.S. Army. After her advanced training graduation, Magda set back to P.R.. There she joined the U.S. Army Reserve for 8 years and obtained an Honorable discharge.
Magda also has 3 more brothers from her dad’s side. That makes her the only female between her siblings and the “Boss”.
In 1991, she had her first daughter, Melanie, and decided to study Speech pathology at the University of PR. Things were tuff and she decided to withdraw and pursue a shorter career in order to take care of her daughter. She started studies in cosmetology and practical nursing, but it was in 1993 when she decided to enroll in nursing school at The University of Municipio de San Juan. In 1995, she had her second daughter, Wilmarie. In 1996, she graduated as a Registered Nurse.
In 1997, she became a dialysis nurse, where she found her passion. In 1999, she had her third and last daughter, Natalia. While she lived in PR she enjoyed giving to the community. She would visit women, victims of domestic violence, in shelters, give food to the homeless and help anybody in any way she could.
In 2006, God brought her to Florida. She lived in Tampa for seven months and then relocated to Kissimmee. Magda works in Orlando as a Facility Administrator and Training Nurse at a Home hemodialysis unit. She helps the renal community improve their health through daily dialysis. She also enjoys donating food, personal items and clothes to the community.
Unfortunately, her mother passed victim of pancreatic cancer. Magda had the opportunity to care for her during her last days. Magda identified a need during the experiences in hospitals and health institutions. Health institutions need more staff! There are many open positions available at the technical and healthcare entry levels!. So she decided to build Utopia Health Career Center.
Magda became a Health Career Training Coordinator (HTC) and received her certification in Atlanta, Georgia. She is also a member of the National HTC Association.
As part of her future plans she would like to get involved with women in shelters, community education and food drives in Central Florida.
Magda is married and has her three daughters and a grandson!
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