Best-selling author and award-winning speaker, Shantay Carter, at one time struggled with depression and anger, but finding a purpose in life – to positively affect the lives of young women – allowed her to turn her pain into power. Affectionately known as “The Nurse Philanthropist”, the 20-year Registered Nurse in Long Island, New York founded Women of Integrity, a non-profit focused on educating, mentoring and empowering young women to become future business leaders. It was such a dramatic success there were calls from within her community to help found two additional organizations, Nurses of Integrity and Men of Integrity. In this month’s NFM Salute Frontline Edition hear about Shantay’s dramatic rise from high school volunteer to high-powered nurse, writer and women’s advocate.

Full Transcript is Below:

– Welcome into a very special edition of NFM Salute Frontline Edition. I’m your host, Greg Sher. We welcome in Shantay Carter right now. She’s a registered nurse in Long Island, New York. She works for the Northwell Health System. Shantay, thank you for being with us on NFM TV.

– Thank you for having me. Good afternoon, everyone.

– You are quite a distinguished individual, a bestselling author. You are so accomplished. We’re gonna just start off in the nursing corridor for a minute. When did you first set your sights on being a nurse?

– So, growing up, I watched my grandmother work as a nurse’s aid for over 30 years. She was my inspiration and role model and watching her grow up and just loving her job just really inspired me. And so, when I got the opportunity, I volunteered in high school, I attended Binghamton University in upstate New York, and I graduated and I’ve been working ever since as a registered nurse.

– Your colleagues affectionately call you the nurse philanthropist. Tell us why.

– They coined that name for me because of my work in the community. I am the founder of Women of Integrity, Inc., which is a nonprofit organization geared towards empowering and educating women of all ages and ethnicities, but especially focusing on our young women. I’m also the co-founder of Nurses of Integrity, which is a platform for nurses to uplift and celebrate them. And also recently started, in the last year or so, an organization for young men, Men of Integrity, Inc., which we’re still working on to get that up and running.

– Do you feel like you’re making progress? Do you feel like that women are getting more opportunity or do you still feel like there’s a long way to go?

– I think we’re making progress. I still think there’s a long way to go ’cause women still don’t make equal pay. I still think there’s a long way to go but as far as progress in showing our young girls there’s broader horizons, definitely. Just recently had two of my former mentees that graduated. They were the class of 2016. One just graduated from Howard University. She passed her state board. She’s a registered nurse and now she’s gonna work for the NIH in Washington, DC. Another one, her twin sister wants to be an FBI agent and now they just opened up their own business making banana pudding. So, they’re young entrepreneurs, so definitely.

– Oh, that’s amazing, Shantay. Wow, those are some great stories. Maybe we’ll see them on “Shark Tank” someday pitching it.

– Exactly, right?

– So, you’re a bestselling author, too. I wanna talk to you about “Destined for Greatness.” It’s a book that you and nine other nurses all co-authored. What’s this book all about and where can we get it?

– So, “Destined for Greatness” is available on Amazon or you can get it from me personally. But the book is about our experiences, a little bit about our nursing journey but more about our experiences in starting our own business and becoming nurse entrepreneurs, or a nursepreneur, as a term they like to call it. And just kind of sharing our obstacles that we faced and also how we overcame them and then offering our top 10 business tips.

– I’ve gotta ask you what a couple of them are. Top of your head.

– So, top of my head. One of them is to definitely own the room that you walk in. Make your presence felt. Your net worth is determined by your network. So, who is in your network? You have to be intentional with that, right? You don’t just go to an event just to go to it. What is the purpose? You have to be intentional and strategic in that way, especially when you’re starting a new business. So, you have to go out there and tell people who you are. If you don’t tell people who you are, you can’t expect them to support you. And I definitely believe that you should support other businesses. If you want support in return and for people to acknowledge you in the community, I can’t just expect it to be one-sided.

– It also takes a lot of bravery, though, to step out, to be able to have that mentality where you can walk in a room and take over. Was there a moment in time where you realized you wanted to take that risk?

– I will tell you starting Women of Integrity gave me that courage to take the risk, honestly. I mean, I’ve always been a very outspoken person but when I created Women of Integrity, it was during a time in my life that I had just gone through a bad breakup and I was going through a depression and just kind of spiraling downward and consumed with negative energy that was affecting me at work, with my family and friends, and I knew I needed to channel that negative energy into something positive. So, that’s how I decided to create Women of Integrity and I tell people that literally it saved my life and made me a better person. So, Women of Integrity became my baby, kind of turned my pain into power.

– I love that. Turn the pain into power. I mean, that’s really powerful right there. I know you overcame COVID back in March. Talk about that challenge.

– So, experiencing COVID. It was one of the worst experiences of my life ’cause I felt like I was dying. And it was a long two months. I was sick for two months. Definitely come out on the other side, I think, healthier because now I’ve changed my whole diet.

– There’s been a huge disparity between those affected, African Americans versus others, with COVID, in particular. And it’s kind of highlighted some of the inadequacies in healthcare. Do you think that we’re gonna make progress there?

– I think in order to make progress, it’s definitely gonna have to come from the top, right? And work its way down. So, your CEOs of the hospital are gonna have to recognize that, one, there is a problem. There’s bias within the institutions. And now they have to really acknowledge the biases that are going on and how can they help their employees that are affected by that.

– You’re a real inspiration, a bestselling author, registered nurse for 20 years, and so much more- a COVID survivor. Shantay Carter, thank you for being with us here on NFM TV.

– Thank you for having me.

– I’m Greg Sher. Hope you’ve enjoyed this NFM Salute Frontline Edition. We’ll see you next time.