2009 Winning Essay

2009 A Nurse I Am Scholarship winners were asked to answer the following: In 750 words or less, pick two nurses in the film "A Nurse I Am" and tell how they take their jobs to the next level in order to impact the lives of their patients. In light of a nursing shortage that has the potential to affect staffing levels and the quality of care delivered, how will you rise to the challenge to meet the needs of your patients?

Marisa Pease

College of Our Lady of Elms

Update 11/4/2010

I graduated Elms with my Bachelors in May 2010 with a 4.0. I received the Award of Achievement, Award of Distinction, Sister Nora Harrington Scholarship Award and was inducted into Sigma Theta Tau International. I was also elected by my class to give a speech at the pinning ceremony. It was quite a wonderful time for me.

Now I am taking a little break before pursing my Masters in the coming year.

Thanks again for Cherokee's help to make all this possible.


As I watched the film “A Nurse I Am”, I was touched and inspired by the dedication and compassion of the experienced nurses that were featured. Admiring their patience, knowledge, and ability to empathize, I could envision the years they spent cultivating their interpersonal skills that made them so remarkably outstanding.

Watching the pediatric oncology nurse, Bob Wilkinson interact with his patients, brought tears to my eyes. Bob exemplifies all that is sacred to the nursing profession. He is the epitome of caring, compassion, and I am certain in his patient’s eyes, he is an angel of mercy. This exceptional nurse takes his job to the next level each time he enters his patient’s room. Immersed in his patients’ lives, they feel comfortable with him. He sings to the children, is animated at times, speaks in poetic, catchy phrases that will capture a child’s attention, and most of all, gives them touch and love. There is a quiet confidence to his voice, while sincerity and honesty permeate his character.

What I find most compelling is his commitment and dedication to his convictions. This man is a great nurse, because he is a great person. He speaks of spirituality and recognizes its importance not only in his patient’s lives, but his own. He turns to God and humbly offers his burdens in search of answers and peace. He has gone so far to have even offered his own life; yet it does not surprise me that his work here on earth is not complete. Everyday he fights for his patient’s quality of life, treatment of pain, and the promotion of dignity. He cares for his patients as if they were his own children. Despite his years of experience, he continually evaluates his actions so that he can provide the best care. It is apparent that he strives to instill hope where lives have been shattered. He selflessly has made a profound impact on the lives of many children and their families.

I was also inspired by Mona, the nurse practitioner from the primary care facility in Appalachia. Although her personality was quite different from Bob’s, she possesses similar qualities that enable her to be in touch with her clients. She carries the strong, confident presence of a leader which has earned her the respect of her community. A highly experienced communicator, she empathizes with her clients and instinctually recognizes their fears. Her ability to tailor the conversation to an individual is evident by the ease and comfort they exude in her presence. Her dedication has no boundaries and like Bob, her selfless acts show her clients that she truly cares about their well being. By placing a strong emphasis on patient education, she imparts autonomy and encourages health seeking behaviors for her patients. She fosters their ability to maintain control and dignity within their lives.

I am a registered nurse with 20 years of experience in the critical care field. The intensive care unit in which I have worked throughout my career, is the only one in the U.S.A. to have won four consecutive Beacon Awards for Critical Care Excellence. Here, patients and families experience some of the most difficult and devastating moments in their lives. I hope that in some way I have made it easier for them. Providing excellent care would not be possible without consistently rising to the challenges of every day. I would like to think that I am the same caliber nurse as Bob and Mona. I have always taken my job seriously and I am accountable for all my actions. My desire is to give back to the nursing profession as it has given to me. Now more than ever, in the light of a nursing shortage, it is essential to be a leader for our profession. It is important to put into practice all the qualities of Bob, Mona and other exceptional nurses. I have been committed to being a lifelong learner, and dedicated to my personal and professional growth. I carry strong convictions to uphold integrity and respect both in my life and my profession. My faith is my driving force to meet each day’s challenges with a positive attitude and a dedication to serve my patients to the best of my ability. It is my passion to influence the future generation of nurses by being an approachable mentor, confident leader and role model.

A Nurse I Am Discussion Guide
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