My roommates and my nursing professors were the most influential while I attended Pitt-Bradford.
Holly Ishman (1st Lieutenant US Army, RN, BSN) and I were roommates throughout the entirety of my nursing education and she gave me a run for my money! Although we studied together, hung out together, and laughed and cried together, when it was time to get our grades you would have thought we were gladiators pitted against each other with Hulk Hogan as the commentator! Holly and I came from different backgrounds and have different career goals but that’s what made us great together – we were always striving to do better ourselves where the other already excelled.
Sherri Kwence and Diane Klesiewski, two other great friends that I met through nursing, also had much influence on the nurse I am today. I don’t know what I would do without these great women in my life. They are intelligent, knowledgeable, resourceful, caring, and compassionate nurses who have been there through the thick and thin – thank you UPB for bringing them into my life!
My nursing professors, primarily those who I had clinicals with, set the standard of nursing professionalism from the beginning for me. I think about this often, as professionalism is such a hot topic recently in my profession. They taught me that professionalism is not only about taking pride in your work, being proficient in your job, and mindful of representing your colleagues as you would like to be represented. Professionalism, in nursing, is about living up to what the women so long ago that started our organization were all about. This means that along with treating the patient with medications, wound care, and special diets – all the things that are ordered by the physician – we also are to be emotionally, compassionately, and empathetically there for our patients. Anyone can follow directions written on a piece of paper, but a nurse – a REAL nurse – opens his or her heart to each and every patient. Holding a patient’s hand, giving a hug, or taking the time to listen and maybe even shedding a tear is what sets real nurses apart from the crowd. All of my professors were able to convey all of that some how to me in the two years I spent with them and I will be forever indebted to them for the wisdom and insight they have given me.