The first decade of their marriage, prior to their arrival in Mineral Wells, her husband served as a minister. Eventually, he pursued finance and found himself working in the second Edward Jones office in Mineral Wells. The Walkers have lived in Mineral Wells for 19 years, but Mary Beth Walker just established herself at PPGH a year ago.
During the first 18 years of her tenure in Mineral Wells, Walker started teaching in TCU’s nursing program, which was a move she felt she needed to make after working multiple jobs.
“When we moved to Mineral Wells, I had just finished my master’s degree and wanted to start teaching,” Walker said. “I did a little bit of part time stuff. I did some part time work [at Palo Pinto General Hospital] in women’s services, and part time at TCU, and part time as a nurse practitioner at John Peter Smith, and then it got to be where I had too many jobs.”
Walker’s transition into teaching was smooth. She signed on full time with TCU, and all she had to do to keep her nurse practitioner’s license active was work eight hours a week fulfilling that role. Although she eventually let her license go inactive, Walker was happy with what she was doing at TCU because not only did she feel a call to be a nurse, she felt a call to be a teacher. Her mark on TCU is huge.
“Every nurse has got some teaching in his or her heart because a lot of what we do is teach people how to take care of themselves, how to mend from illness, how to manage their chronic illnesses,” Walker said. “Nurses do a lot of teaching.
“The last eight years, I ran [TCU’s] labs, specifically developing [their] simulation lab. Human-patient simulators are full body simulators, and you can do all kinds of wonderful teaching with that.”