Some people know a nurse personally whether it be a family member, friend, or neighbor. Most people have been helped, in some way, by a nurse – whether it be receiving care at a hospital or witnessing a nurse care for a loved one. I think it’s fair to say that everyone, in some way, has been impacted by nurses.
In fact, for over a decade, the public has ranked nursing as the most trusted profession. We were thought of as true heroes, during the global pandemic. Nurses, however, are not all the same – we each have our own unique story to tell.
So, in this podcast episode, we invited various nurses at different stages in their professional journey to give us an inside perspective on their careers. From a nursing student to a new graduate nurse and a seasoned nursing professional, each interviewee was asked a series of questions. With these questions as a prompt, you, the listener, gain an in-depth exploration of their innermost thoughts and feelings as nurses.
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Rakiya Moore is a third-semester nursing student in an accelerated second-degree program. She has a previous degree in public health and wants to work in women’s health as a new graduate nurse.
In her journey through nursing school, Rakiya has emerged as a formidable force. Her motivation stems from a combination of prior work experiences and a profound realization during her pregnancy, where she witnessed the racial and social disparities in healthcare. This experience ignited a passion in her to pursue nursing with a commitment to addressing holistic patient care and maintaining authenticity in her interactions.
Rakiya’s approach to learning is characterized by self-reflection and an insatiable thirst for knowledge. Whether through formal mentorship or informal avenues, she absorbs information like a sponge. Despite facing challenges in adapting her learning style to the unique demands of nursing school, Rakiya advocates for individualized approaches, stressing the importance of figuring out what works best for oneself.
One pivotal moment for Rakiya came during NCLEX-style exams when she realized the significance of thinking like a nurse rather than just a test taker. This shift in perspective not only heightened her awareness in clinical applications but also led to a significant improvement in her test scores.
Looking ahead, Rakiya envisions a future for nursing that is marked by reduced burnout and increased recognition of the profound impact nurses have on patient care. With her readiness to embrace the nursing profession, we consider ourselves fortunate to have Rakiya as a part of the healthcare community.
Meet Michael Pratt, a recent graduate nurse making waves in the fast-paced environment of the emergency department (ED) at a Baltimore Washington hospital. Having completed a second-degree accelerated nursing program in August 2023, Michael’s journey into nursing was fueled by a desire to leave a lasting impact on the lives of those around him.
As an exemplary student, Michael swiftly earned the favor of patients in the ED, where he now applies the concepts and clinical knowledge gained during his education. His success is not only attributed to his academic foundation but also to the guidance of a crucial figure in his nursing journey – his nurse preceptor. This mentor played a pivotal role in imparting the “nursing street smarts” necessary for navigating the unpredictable nature of the ED.
Michael’s initiation into the real-world challenges of healthcare began with a crash course orientation, teaching him the ED’s rapid transitions from calm to chaotic. His aspiration is to evolve into a confident nurse capable of handling any situation. Despite encountering hurdles in the healthcare system’s bureaucracy and the realization that he can’t be omnipresent for each patient, Michael acknowledges the importance of seeking assistance from his teammates.
The most fulfilling moments for Michael come when he implements interventions that visibly improve a patient’s condition. While grappling with uncertainties about the future of nursing, he hopes for increased accessibility to healthcare and a recognition of the need for system improvements.
Reflecting on his journey, Michael wishes he had started his nursing career earlier. Nevertheless, there’s no doubt that he is on a trajectory to become a nurse leader, making a significant impact in the field in no time.
Shana Skeffrey is a seasoned nursing professional with a trajectory that showcases dedication, resilience, and a commitment to growth. Starting as a licensed practical nurse, Shana transitioned into a bachelor-prepared registered nurse. A few years into her bedside nursing experience, she felt the call to pursue a master’s in nursing education, a decision that has shaped her path profoundly.
The roots of her inspiration to become a nurse can be traced back to childhood, watching her godmother undergo cancer treatment and wound care.
As a medical surgical nurse, Shana found herself thrust into the challenging realm of providing care to COVID patients during the pandemic. Currently, she dedicates her full-time efforts to shaping the future of nursing as a clinical lab instructor at an accredited nursing university.
Throughout her remarkable nine-year journey, Shana attributes her success to the invaluable support of mentors who not only provided opportunities for professional growth but also offered crucial mental health support. Interestingly, food became Shana’s love language, adding a unique dimension to her journey.
The COVID era marked the most challenging chapter of Shana’s career, offering her a different perspective on nursing—one surprisingly positive. Beyond the stress and anxiety, she discovered the beauty in caring for critically ill patients and witnessed the unifying strength within the nursing profession.
Educating the next generation of nurses has proven to be a profoundly rewarding experience for Shana. Transitioning from mentee to mentor, she triumphantly overcame imposter syndrome. Undeterred by challenges, Shana sets her sights on a doctorate program in clinical leadership this year, driven by a desire to continue making a difference in the lives of nursing students.
Shana’s vision extends beyond personal success; she aspires to be the catalyst for positive change in the nursing profession and the broader healthcare system. With leaders like Shana at the forefront, there is hope for a brighter future in nursing.
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