After the warmth and friendliness of the local community convinced her to call Saipan home, Lucy Lu Pangelinan decided to serve the island community as an advanced practice registered nurse on Saipan after studying nursing at Northern Marianas College.
Pangelinan is part of the long list of NMC alumni contributing to the local healthcare workforce. For the past eight years, she has been an integral part of the Marianas Medical Center, specializing in family medicine. Her expertise spans a wide range of patient care, including women's health, pregnancy, infants, children, and adult health to geriatrics. In addition to her primary care, she also excels in preventative healthcare, acute care, and managing chronic diseases.
When looking back at her time at NMC, Pangelinan found the start of her healthcare journey through the college.
“NMC laid the foundation for my love of health care,” Pangelinan said. “I started in nursing because I love to understand the science of how we get sick and how to get better. NMC gave me the choice in healthcare that led me to advance in the field later on.”
Pangelinan also mentions the local community suffering from chronic diseases as a reason why she took on the profession.
“Because the CNMI has a high population of chronic diseases, I was determined to learn how to help our people here understand and prevent and maintain health for the better,” Pangelinan said. “Although I’m not originally from Saipan, I grew up here and consider this my home.”
Pangelinan also shared a message of encouragement for aspiring and upcoming nursing students as well as people interested in nursing and medicine.
“Take the chance and the opportunity in front of you,” Pangelinan said. “Although the world was ahead of me after high school, I decided to stay where I was and pursue what was available, and that eventually led to more opportunities to expand my roles. Now I can take that foundation and go anywhere, as can you.”
She added, “We need more of our local workforce. For decades we’ve had to import healthcare resources. Just have an inkling that you can, and eventually you will! Do it for your islands and your people. Do it for yourself and you will be more than rewarded.”
Pangelinan's educational journey began at NMC, where she earned her Associate of Arts in Liberal Arts and an Associate in Science in Nursing. While working full-time as a registered nurse, she continued her studies, completing her undergraduate degree at the University of Wyoming and obtaining her Master of Science in Nursing from Indiana State University. In 2015, she obtained her certification as a Certified Family Nurse Practitioner and subsequently joined the Marianas Medical Center team.