A Mercer University nursing alumna is impacting not only her patients but also other professionals in the nursing community.
Clara Jones, who graduated with her bachelor’s degree from the Georgia Baptist College of Nursing in 2018, is the founder of Nurse Clara, a lifestyle brand and blog, and the Asian Care Unit, a community for Asian American and Pacific Islander health care professionals. Her @nurseclara account has 91,000 followers on Instagram, where she posts about nursing, mental health and self-care.
Jones has fostered these communities while working as a labor and delivery nurse in Atlanta and pursuing her master’s at Georgia State University. She graduated with her Master of Science in Nursing and was certified as a family nurse practitioner in December 2021. She is currently seeking a job as a family nurse practitioner, preferably in women’s health.
Growing up, Jones, an only child, saw how her mother struggled with infertility and suffered through pregnancy losses. But through it all, she was surrounded by caring health care providers.
“Looking back on my mother’s story, I just want to be the nurses that she had,” said Jones, who was born in South Korea and moved to the U.S. when she was 7. “Being a first-generation immigrant meant that you had spotty health care, and the cultural barriers were very difficult. … I’m very honored to say that I’m in a position where now I am a provider, and I’m able to really listen to my patients and understand where they’re coming from.”
A first-generation college student, she struggled with the idea of going to college but found a home at Mercer. Here, she made friends, joined Chi Omega and met her future husband.
“Being a Mercer student really, truly changed my life,” she said.
While Jones knew she wanted to be a nurse, she didn’t set out to be a social media influencer.
Jones was documenting her weight loss journey on Instagram and joined the Health at Every Size movement, which de-emphasizes the number on the scale, when her following began to grow. She began to share her personal journey of going to nursing school and graduating.
“I just ended up deciding that I really wanted to help people in a different way, and so, founding Nurse Clara and making it a business, my brand, meant that my story had value and that it serves a purpose in helping others,” she said.
That has led to a collaboration with Clove, a shoe brand for health care professionals. As part of the collaboration, Jones helped design a sneaker called the Clara 1. The blush-colored shoe incorporates elements of Jones’ personal style and Korean heritage.
“A lot of the elements on the shoe, such as the mugunghwa, which is the rose of Sharon, represent resilience, which is a huge theme in my journey of going through nursing and my personal life,” Jones said. “But also, it’s a very important flower to the South Korean people as it represents surviving through Japanese colonialism and just rapid growth within the country.
“And so, this shoe basically reminds me and reminds anyone who wears them to be resilient and just be proud with every step they take.”
Last year, Jones started the Asian Care Unit.
“I always felt like there was a need for an organization or a community where Asian American and Pacific Islander health care professionals could come together and just kind of talk about experiences, but it felt way more needed especially after the pandemic and how Asian Americans were targeted in a sense,” she said.
Today, the Asian Care Unit provides a place where its members can talk about their experiences as health care professionals, collaborate with each other and offer mentorship.
Mercer Made is a series in which we feature notable people, businesses, products and inventions connected to Mercer University.