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.

Amanda Oswald

Azusa Pacific University

Nursing care has evolved from simple bed side care brought about by Florence Nightingale to intensive care that necessitates critical thinking skills on a day-to-day basis. Yet what is the underlying factor that makes these two forms of nursing still cohesive? It is the compassion and self-sacrificing nature of nursing professionals. In the film A Nurse I Am, it is evident that the three nurses chosen for the Cherokee Inspired Comfort Award have been selected not only because of their ability to perform tasks and procedures proficiently but also because they have been able to enhance the psycho-social and spiritual well-being of their patients.

After watching this film, it is evident that the career of nursing has evolved and expanded beyond the traditional view that professionals care only for the physical health of their patients. Nursing has transcended into an area that nurtures emotional and spiritual wellbeing. A nurse cares for a patient's whole being, which incorporates all of the concepts presented above, as well as learning to connect with his/her patients on a more personal level. I have learned over the course of my schooling in the field of nursing that a person's will and drive to live affect how they are going to cope with an illness. Tapping into the psychosocial and spiritual elements of a person makes nursing care far greater than solely physical means of health management. If we look at the story of the young girl with cancer who never smiles anymore, it is very evident that the nurse, Bob, recognizes that conflict within her and attempts to draw out her feelings and emotions to aid in the recovery of her health. Nursing is about connecting with the patient so that the patient's needs and desires are the primary focus. It is a collaborative effort that requires patient, nurse, and family unity during health management to promote the improvement of the patient's wellbeing. A Nurse I Am concentrates on this concept and emphasizes the importance of compassionate care to the patients. This is what makes a task-oriented nurse rise above this contingent and develop into an exceptional nurse.

Three nurses in this film exemplify what an outstanding nurse should resemble, which encourages viewers to appreciate the uniqueness of a nursing career. Nursing is multidimensional in the fact that it combines science and compassion into one profession. The splendid part about nursing is that it is a stimulating occupation that requires continuous learning about the human body and how it functions. It also allows there to be a degree of empathy that many professions do not offer. Mona, one of the nurses from this film, does an excellent job of connecting with patients on a personal level while also maintaining a high degree of critical thinking. Many of her clients state that she explains health-related information on an understandable level, which allows them to feel more comfortable seeking medical attention. Fancy terminology and apathetic behaviors from some healthcare professionals may make a client feel apprehensive in sharing their true desires and concerns about their health. The wonderful aspect of nursing is that you can create an environment that is conducive to allowing people to share their uneasiness and channel that into a desire to live a healthy life physically, emotionally, and spiritually. A career in nursing enables a person to connect with people on a special and unique level, which allows one to see the results of the personal relationship with his/her clients. Those types of relationships are rarely found in other professions, making nursing an exceptional and worthwhile career.

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