2008 Winning Essay

2008 A Nurse I Am Scholarship winners were asked to answer the following: In 750 words or less, how did "A Nurse I Am" change or enhance your perception of nursing as a career? Using one of the nurses on the film as a role model, explain why someone should pursue nursing as a career.

Crystal Anthony

Coppin State University

Update 3/6/2009

Currently, I'm in my junior year of nursing school and am very fascinated by what I'm learning. Being in maternity, I get to be behind the curtains and learn about all the creative miracles that occur in a woman's body. I look forward to using the knowledge gained thus far and that to come to widen out and look at the birthing process and general healthcare experiences not only in American women, but also in other cultures, with a particular interest in women of middle eastern descent. My immediate goal is to intern at my future choice of employment. I'm now seeking a summer extern position with the facility to get a head start on next May.

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Winning Essay

Being from a small town that is about a snap long and an inch wide, Mona Counts is a great role model. She truly brought back the sense of community bonding that I feel every time I visit Hobgood in Eastern North Carolina. With her selfless, relentless spirit she continued to resuscitate Mt. Morris over and over. She did not care about insurance as she jokingly said to one of her patients, “So you don’t have money”. She continued to give back, specifically in the form of a community clinic where she not only welcomed all of her extended family, but also where she did not mind leaving and going out to find them. Mona’s actions and her patients’ reactions reinforced in me the Myra Levine model that has been constantly thrown in my direction here in my second semester of nursing school. Mona stuck with her conviction that health equaled function, not just the absence of disease. Function would definitely be something that was important to this agricultural community where their hands were what kept the town together.

A Nurse I Am was an unexpected shot in the arm. The last nursing video I watched was an introduction to the technical terms associated with various health care settings and the tasks set before nurses in the differing areas. This video brought nursing down to what it is compromised of – human feelings and interactions. It enhanced my current appreciation and respect for the profession and gave me drive to stick with nursing until I walk across the stage in the spring of 2010. At times giving up on your dreams seems to be the most feasible and convenient thing to do. Nursing school is something I’ve been striving after for about five years, beginning fall of 2002. I underestimated my abilities and tried other things, graduating in May of 2006 with a Bachelor’s degree, but still feeling void because I knew that my first interview after graduation would not be at anyone’s hospital or specialty clinic. So I took time to think and I decided to use a year to reevaluate my plan and consider options for nursing school. I received a letter of acceptance in the spring of 2006 and started in the fall of 2007. Going to class is amazing and does not feel like something that I passively have to do to earn a good grade or to get out of the way because of some requirement. It is practical information pertinent to my being a successful nurse so I like to think of them as career coaching classes.

Anyone who has eyes, ears, or even a limited function of one of the five senses can look at the world we live in and see that love has cooled off. People are not naturally friendly or kind; they usually look for some kind of reinforcement and when not given, they withdraw or undo the kind act. This leads to depression, hopelessness and even anger and resentment for many people who walk around. Nursing is one of the few professions that counteract that. Looking at a person holistically as Mona Counts does throughout her entire time as a nurse is moving and heartwarming. She did everything for the good of those around her, a truly altruistic character. Anyone who has a smidgen of will and desire to help people escape from the daily hassles and struggles and to provide some sort of therapeutic experience should consider the difference nursing can make.

Why nursing? Why wake up before the sun or drive over an hour away or come home 12-16 hours later just to do it all over again? Khalil Gibran said it best: “Work is love made visible. And if you can’t work with love but only with distaste, it is better that you should leave your work and sit at the gate of the temple and take alms of the people who work with joy.” Nursing is love made visible and I never saw Gibran’s words manifested better than in the DVD A Nurse I Am. To all interested in becoming nurses, I want to tell you that I can not wait until next February when I read about the effect this video will have had on you. Yes, you. I know you will be sitting up at 11:28 p.m. just like I am reading the wonderful expressions of nurses and future nurses and thinking about where to apply.

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