Mineral Wells Index, Mineral Wells, TX

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February 28, 2014

PPGH's Robert Clark: Teacher by trade, nurse by fate

By TYLER MASK

Some don't know what career path is for them until they're immersed in it, others choose a career early on and pursue their dreams. For one Mineral Wells man, it was a combination of factors that lead him to his career, including fate.

Palo Pinto General Hospital ICU and Cardiopulmonary Director Robert Clark, RN, CCRN, didn't start out as a nurse, but believes he made a perfect landing after his life experiences and jobs prior.

A Breckenridge native, Clark was born into a hard-working family of poverty, leaving Clark's only chance for college to himself.

“My parents told me when I was very young, 'If you want to make something of yourself, if you want to go to college, you're going to have to work for it,'” Clark said. “I took that very seriously.”

The day Clark turned 16, he began working full-time, saving money for the next four years of his life. To coordinate with his high school schedule, Clark worked nightshift at a grocery store and slept during the afternoons.

When he finally graduated high school he had saved enough money to pay his way through all four years of college.

After finishing college, Clark began pursuing his first career as a high school agricultural teacher. Clark recalls many governmental changes in the field of education, particularly regulations, and a lack of openings, so he joined the air force in light of his recent marriage.

Although his dreams of being a teacher seemed gone for a moment, the air force put him through electronic school, where he hoped to become an instructor. Nevertheless, another serious factor fell into Clark's lap in the form a newborn daughter – but the drastic changes don't stop there.

After the birth of his daughter Clark was suddenly hit by divorce. Clark ended up heading home to Breckenridge to raise his child, where he began working as an aircraft builder.

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