Since 2019, Antronette Robinson, MSN, RN, has been both the nursing director at the Community Care VA Hospital and the owner of Maestro Coffee Shop, Sacramento’s only Black-owned independent cafe. A United States Army veteran, she took an interest in the military while caring for her younger sister, who planned to join the Air Force. Ms. Robinson enlisted in 1999 and spent the next 12 years as an Army critical care nurse, rising to the rank of first lieutenant before her military retirement. She earned her Associate of Science, and registered nurse and advanced practice registered nurse certifications from Anolt Valley Community College and continued her education at California State University, which awarded her a Bachelor of Science in nursing. Ms. Robinson would go on to complete her education with a Master of Science in nursing and healthcare administration through Aspen University.
Though Ms. Robinson began her nursing career in the mid-1990s, she began working closely with the Department of Veterans Affairs following her military retirement. In 2016, she was named nursing manager at the Community Care VA Hospital, a role she held for the next three years before earning a promotion to nursing director. As nursing director, she oversees more than 160 regional VA employees in addition to serving as chair of the hospital’s community oversight committee. Some of her fondest professional memories are of working with her oncology patients at the Community Care VA Hospital, and she is proud to have helped each one live their lives to the fullest, regardless of limitations. Ms. Robinson is a frequent speaker at schools and in the community, and she has been presented with certificates honoring her medical work at organizational improvement fairs.
In 2019, Ms. Robinson opened Maestro Coffee Shop in Sacramento, an independent coffee and tea shop established with money saved from her military career. Initially opened with her ex-husband, she pursued additional education and advanced barista training after his departure and prides herself on consistency, customer service, and serving only the highest-quality beans. Maestro Coffee Shop has launched a special blend of coffee beans available for purchase in-store, and Ms. Robinson is currently working on building a retail function for the cafe’s website.
Ms. Robinson is proud to balance the demands of her nursing career with the challenges of launching an independent business, and strives to set an example of professional success and ambitious goal-setting for her children, family, and the Black community at large. In the coming years, she hopes to begin holding classes to help younger women on their own entrepreneurial journeys, and emphasizes that “knowledge is power, and being able to be a mentor is important.” When not working or running her business, Ms. Robinson is a basketball fan and enjoys time spent with her two daughters and two grandchildren.