Anthony Talerico Jr., a 2018 graduate of Brookdale Community College’s nursing program, has carved an inspiring path from Wall Street to the halls of Monmouth Medical Center to the forefront of local politics as the Mayor of Eatontown. His journey reflects a unique blend of professional evolution and a deep commitment to community well-being.

Before entering the compassionate fields of nursing and public service, Talerico pursued accounting at the University of Scranton and delved into the world of forensic accounting. However, after realizing his true calling was elsewhere, he transitioned to nursing, taking classes at Brookdale while managing his own business. His perseverance paid off, and now he serves as a nurse at Monmouth Medical Center, specializing in oncology.

But Anthony’s impact doesn’t stop at the hospital doors. As the Mayor of Eatontown, he champions community health initiatives, focusing on mental health awareness. Under his leadership, Eatontown has received recognition and funding for programs that promote mental well-being, combat stigma, and support residents in need.

At a recent Student Nurses Association meeting, Talerico passionately advocated for nurses’ roles beyond traditional caregiving, emphasizing their potential impact in politics and community advocacy. He highlighted staffing ratios, outpatient care, and mental health as critical issues requiring attention and legislative support.

“Staffing ratios,” Talerico emphasized, “are crucial for ensuring quality patient care. Nurses need to advocate for safe staffing levels to prevent burnout and maintain high standards of care.”

His insights shed light on the intersection of nursing and politics, urging fellow nurses to engage in advocacy efforts, track healthcare-related bills, and participate in public hearings to influence policy decisions.

“Nurses are poor advocates for themselves,” Talerico said. “If you look at the number of nurses in the state of New Jersey, union and nonunion, and if you look at how often they vote, it’s pathetic. Nurses do not vote because if they did, health care would be very different. And so, I encourage, especially the younger nurses that come in, to be genuinely engaged with advocates for health care in the Senate and the Assembly.”

Reflecting on his dual roles as a nurse and mayor, Anthony spoke of the invaluable skills nurses bring to leadership positions. “The multitasking and advocacy inherent in nursing make nurses uniquely equipped to address complex community issues,” he stated.

Anthony’s journey exemplifies the significant impact nurses can have beyond the bedside, shaping policy, fostering community wellness, and advocating for those in need. As he continues to lead by example, his message is to inspire nurses everywhere on the power of perseverance, compassion, and civic engagement in creating positive change.