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.

Daria Fitzgerald

Anne Arundel Community College

Update 3/6/2009

I am eagerly anticipating graduating from nursing school on May 21, 2009. I am literally counting the days. I have been nominated for the Army Corps of Nursing "Spirit of Nursing" award; the recipient of the award will be announced at my pinning ceremony in May. Hopefully, I will take the N-CLEX in late June/early July. I have already accepted a position at Baltimore Washington Medical Center in their CCU/ICU. I will start my orientation in early June as a "Nurse Grad". Currently, I am exploring my educational options by attending advanced nursing open houses at Johns Hopkins School of Nursing, and University of MD School of Nursing. If the planets align, I will begin the next step in my education in September of 2009. My ultimate goal is to obtain a Doctor of Nursing Practice degree, but in September, I will take the first step in a Master's program. (Keeping my finger's crossed) It truly has been a pleasure to be a part of the Cherokee family; the support I have felt has been amazing.


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Winning Essay

Nursing school is a wonderful preparation for understanding patho-physiology, and the subtle differences between health and wellness. As a student, I struggle to absorb as much knowledge and theory as my brain will allow, because objective test grades are the barometer of my success. After watching both films, I realize that nursing is not only a skilled profession, but an art form.

All of the nurses in the film are true role models for having truly mastered the art and the science that is nursing, but Mona Counts stands out to me as a nurse who has totally dedicated her life to her patients. Watching her story, my eyes were opened to how integral a nurse can be as a teacher and leader to her patients. She supported every aspect of her community; beginning with healthcare, but stretching into full lifestyle care.

I have learned the importance of treating the whole person, and my care plans are often focused on psychosocial interventions. Unfortunately though, when standing at the bedside, time and staffing constraints dictate that only issues impacting physiological changes are addressed. Mona takes the time to treat the whole person. It is her support, understanding, and genuine interest that allow her patients to open their lives to her. Mona makes a difference in the health of her patients’ as a confidant, a teacher, a cheerleader, and a Nurse. The nursing career is so diverse and dynamic, anyone with an interest in becoming a nurse, can surely find a place where they can shine. The nurses profiled in the movie are evidence of this.

I have no choice but to study the curriculum that my college dictates, but only I can make the choice about the kind of nurse that I will be. I choose to practice the art of nursing as well as the science. I choose to help and support and love those that I serve. Mona’s story has reinforced the importance of these simple edicts.

Today I am a student. I am learning to be an advocate, a teacher, a role-model, and a professional. In my heart and in my soul, A Nurse I Am.

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