Brittany Chen – Blog Post

While I am studying abroad in Puerto Rico, I have been doing my clinical rotations at the VA Hospital. I have never worked in nor stepped foot in a VA hospital before, so it was interesting to see the difference between the standard public hospital vs. the VA. I have worked on the Medical/Surgical floor and spent a day each at the Emergency Department and Surgical Intensive Care Unit. What’s different about their healthcare system is that at the VA Hospital looks out for their patients even after they’re discharged. For example, on every discharge note, there are appointments in various departments that have already been set for the next six months. They understand that ensuring their safety outside of the hospital will prevent readmission because they are following up on their patients after discharge.

The role of the nurse on the interdisciplinary team is to monitor the patients as well as carry out the treatments that’s included in the patient’s plan of care. Because the nurse interacts more with the patient than anyone else on the interdisciplinary team, the nurse makes a huge difference in helping the patient recover. Most of the time, it’s the nurse who first notices or is first notified of any changes with the patient. They advocate for the patient to physicians or other members of the team because they spend the most time with them. These nurses know exactly what works for the patient and what doesn’t because they see the effects. Therefore, they play an important and necessary role on the interdisciplinary team.

I think the nurse/patient relationship is great at the VA Hospital. Despite having multiple patients, the nurses try their best to make sure that each patient is being taken care of. They advocate and look out for their patients when it comes to their treatment plan or medications. Something different that I noticed between mainland hospitals and the VA hospital is that they take the time to explain everything to their patients, especially their medications. Before even opening the medications, they always explain and ask the patient first, thus allowing the patient to be directly involved in their care.

I have experienced some role modeling by the nurses, both on 4J (Med/Surge floor) and the Emergency Department. The nurses that I shadowed really took me under their wing and taught me so many things about nursing skills and patient care. They showed how to draw blood, give chemotherapy, put in a central line, give medications through a central line and etc. I also saw how much they advocated for their patients and how involved both the nurse and patient were in the plan of care. The nurses at the VA Hospital are great examples of the kind of nurse I want to be like.

Because the patient population consists of mostly elderly males, ranging from ages 60-98 years old, whom served in the Vietnam or Korean War, you see a lot of the same diagnosis, treatments and medications. Some common diagnosis that the patients at the VA Hospital have are Chronic Kidney Disease/Acute Kidney Injury, Hypertension, Diabetes Mellitus, Heart Failure, Benign Prostatic Hypertrophy, Prostate Cancer, Urinary Tract Infections. Some common treatments range from Metoprolol for hypertension, Famotidine and Tamsulosin for benign prostatic hypertrophy, Heparin injections, Insulin, chemotherapy, hemodialysis and etc. For the most part, the veteran patients at the VA Hospital are the same as the patients back home. Most of the veterans obviously spoke Spanish, but there was still a good amount that knew English. I noticed that all the veterans I was assigned to were extremely nice and understanding. Not one of them ever gave me a hard time about doing a head-to-toe assessment on them or not knowing any Spanish. In fact, they were so open to the fact that I was a nursing student and even encouraged me to use them to practice basic nursing skills such as drawing blood. The veterans made me feel more comfortable and less anxious about being in a new environment.

During my med/surge rotation, I noticed how much physical illness affected a patient’s mental health. There were numerous patients who were bedridden due to their diagnosis and comorbidities and needed assistance with their ADLs. For some, this affected their mental health negatively because up until their physical illness, they were doing things independently without any problems. Now, they needed to rely on someone to do simple tasks, which caused some to feel useless. In addition, there were also some patients that had difficulty coping with their diagnosis because instead of accepting their illness, they would deny it or get frustrated with the situation. I also noticed the correlation between physical illness and mental health especially in oncology patients. For some oncology patients, they didn’t let cancer or the painful side effects of chemotherapy dictate their mental health. In fact, I’ve had some patients who managed to smile every day and even make light-hearted jokes, despite their diagnosis. Nevertheless, there were still others that let cancer define their mental well-being through a negative attitude and mood.

I have learned so much at the VA Hospital so far and will definitely integrate them into my practice. One of the things that I will take with me into my practice is making sure that my patients are set with everything before being discharged. As mentioned before, the VA Hospital does a great job in following up on their patients and ensuring that they are fully taken care of after leaving the hospital. Therefore, in the future, I will make sure that before my patients leave the hospital, he or she must have a place to stay, a set treatment plan, a good support system and even something as simple as transportation.

My time so far at the VA Hospital has been unforgettable. I have learned and done things that I never would have been able to back home. It’s a breath of fresh air being in a new environment and definitely a one-of-a-kind experience. However, there is still so much for me to learn as I begin my psych rotation. It will be interesting to interact with veterans dealing with mental illnesses, PTSD, and etc. I will never forget my time at 4J, the medical/surgical floor, and look forward to a new experience on the psych floor.

Maddy Henrie – Blog Post

Last week, the group and I got up at 6:30 am on Saturday, packed our bags, applied our sunscreen, and hit the road. Our RA, German, drove us to a nearby hotel where we promptly boarded a bus with sixty other strangers and began out journey. We drove through the hills of the rural outskirts of the San Juan area, where the steamy vistas looked like something out of Jurassic park. The hills are speckled with tiny pastel colored houses all different shades of pink, yellow, blue, and orange. After about an hour and fifteen minutes of window gazing, the gang and I reached our destination; the marina in the city of Fajardo. The we stepped onto a fifty foot long Catamaran and set sail towards the islands of Icacos. The water was so blue, I truly had no idea nature could produce such a shade of sapphire. All of us marveled at the view of the mountains in Fajardo as they grew smaller and smaller as we sailed out. We made several friends on this journey including an eclectic group of people from Uruguay who were not shy about serenading the entire boat with their guitar and songs. Once we reached Icacos, we all jumped off of the boat and dove into the crystal blue water, which just happened to be the place where the pirates of the Caribbean was filmed. We snorkeled around in the reef and saw gigantic black fish as well as crabs and coral. After spending most of the day marveling at the water and the bright white sand, many of us napped on top of the boat, simply soaking in the sun and smelling the salty air as we sailed back inland. The island of Puerto Rico has so many natural wonders and so many hidden gems, Icacos being one of them. After that day we had a new found appreciate for the sheer beauty of Puerto Rico and all that it has to offer. Once we hauled our tired and slightly crispy bodies back onto the bus we all joked and laughed about the friends that we made on the boat, and we recapped our day to each other. One of the things that will stand out the most about this semester is the intrinsic exquisiteness of the landscapes, beaches, and oceans of the Island

Gabriela Davila – Clinical Blog

What is interesting about the healthcare system where I am doing my clinical rotation is that it is a system that only veterans have access to. Since care is only provided for veterans, the majority of the patient population consists of elderly males. Within my five weeks of doing clinical here I have only encountered one female patient in the Emergency Room “fast track” or triage center who ultimately didn’t get admitted. What is also interesting about the hospital is that it has a reputation of being the best hospital here on the Island. I think this is primarily because it is a federal hospital but it is nonetheless interesting because in the United States Veteran hospitals don’t have a reputation of giving the best care compared to other hospitals. Since the hospital has such a stellar reputation, the staff is truly the best of the best because the hospital is very selective and doesn’t hire just anyone. I’ve been told by multiple healthcare providers that they waited months before hearing back regarding their application. What’s also interesting about this healthcare system is that all of their charting, orders, medications and other paperwork is in English, although the nurses and patients speak primarily Spanish. I think this is also because of the simple fact that it is a federal hospital.

Some common illnesses that I’ve noticed that are very common at the VA hospital are hypertension, diabetes mellitus, prostate cancer, kidney failure and congestive heart failure. It is very common for patients to have several of those comorbidities. Given that these are the most common illness, the medications that are seen the most are Lasix, heparin, insulin, tamsulosin, antibiotics, stool softeners and carvedilol. What I’m also realizing about this patient population is that even though I am not on a psych floor yet, every patient has some sort of psychological condition or PTSD that they are dealing with. This is understandable considering the fact that it is a Veterans Hospital and these patients have served for our country. What I’ve also noticed about the patient’s here is that they do not appear their biological age. I’ve had patients who I thought were about twenty year younger than they actually were. This is partially because of their appearance, how cognitively intact, and how active they are.

Here in Puerto Rico I’ve noticed that the nursing role is very different. Unlike the United States, assessments are not a nursing priority here. The only type of assessments I see done here are vital signs taken by the LPN. In fact, I have not seen any of the nurses on the floor even carrying a stethoscope. Here the assessments are done by the doctors and residents who are constantly making rounds on the floor. The nurses here in my opinion however do a better job working as an interprofessional team compared to the United States. The nurses here are constantly contacting the pharmacy, providers, social work, other departments, and LPN’s. This constant communication ensures that the patient is receiving the best possible care and is well on their way to being discharged.

Chris Denslow – Cultural Blog

Coming to Puerto Rico has been an opportunity like no other in my life. Anytime I have traveled in my life it is for vacation and looking for new experience in a place I haven’t been. The opportunity to travel with the School of Nursing has allowed me to enjoy the natural beauty experience a new culture.

While living in San Juan, I have gained a new appreciation for Puerto Rico and how its people cherish their history. Like most places in the world, Puerto Rico was an innocent bystander in wars between global powers, often being used for its natural wealth and strategic geographical position in the world. Throughout its history, Puerto Rico has seen great wealth and mixing of many cultures from its port. It is due to the culture and wealth that came through the port of San Juan, that Puerto Rico got the name “Rich Port”. The other night, my fellow students and I had the amazing opportunity to see and experience a small part of the rich Puerto Rico culture from a food tour.

Our tour started in front of the old and famous “Banco Popular” which stands for “Popular Bank”. Banco Popular is an old and historic building that sits in front of the harbor of Old San Juan. We met our food tour guide and she introduced herself as Luz, and provided some background information about city of Old San Juan.

The first stop in our tour was a local coffee store named “Cuatro Sombras”. I was very excited to stop here because like other college students, I love coffee. We were brought into the back where a tasting room was set up for us with coffee and sandwiches. Luz told us about the local family that grew the coffee beans and how they specially prepared the beans with guava paste. Our tour guide also told us about how this local business, like many others, was impacted by Hurricane Maria. The local coffee bean farm was still trying to recover from the loss of their coffee crop a year ago. It was amazing to hear how even a year later the hurricane was still impacting the Puerto Rican economy.

The next place that we stop by was a local ice cream store named “Señor Paleta”. This ice cream store made popsicles from local crushed tropical fruits. Our tour got to eat a delicious mango popsicle and ate them while watching the sunset over the bay and learning the history of Puerto Rico. We learned that Puerto Rico was one of first settlements in the “New World” and was ruled over by Spain until being owned by the U.S. in 1889. It’s interesting to learn and see how Puerto Rico has a beautiful blend of Spanish, American and African in culture, language and especially the food.

After the amazing popsicles, our group continued to a local restaurant named “Café Del Angel”. At this restaurant, we were able to make AND eat a Puerto Rican dished called mofongo. Mofongo is a dish where friend plantains are smashed and served with chicken, bean and rice. When our food arrived, we were able to use a mortar and pestle to mash our friend plantains and mix in the chicken and other sides. This meal was hands down the most filling and fun! It was awesome learn about the local dish, family owned restaurant and participate in the making out our food.

Our final stop was a local chocolate restaurant named Choco Bar. This restaurant served all kinds of amazing foods that incorporated chocolate. We got to sample hot chocolate and eat chocolate bars with cheese. Our tour guide explained to us that the family owned company was started in 1943. Back in 1940’s Puerto Rico was going through a depression and to feed the locals and children the company would give out chocolate and cheese. This allowed the people to have enough food to survive and get past the depression. The chocolate company also provided small books to children when they bought a chocolate bar. It is because of the books that local children could practice reading and writing. The chocolate that we were serviced was hands down the best chocolate that I have ever eaten. It was smooth, rich and not overly sweet. At the end of our tasting we thanked our tour guide and walked through Old San Juan.

Being in Puerto Rico has given me a better appreciation for food, language and culture. It was amazing to learn about the local food and how it related to the history of Puerto Rico. Even though I have only been on the island for a month, I feel like I am at home and I am grateful for this opportunity of a lifetime.

Rebecca Bernardo – Clinical Blog

Buenas! My clinical experience thus far in Puerto Rico has been challenging (in a good way) and eye-opening. I have learned a tremendous amount about the healthcare system in Puerto Rico through working at a hospital here in San Juan. The hospital is federally-run by the US government; thus, many signs are in English and the electronic healthcare system is also all in English. I find this interesting as the primary language for the majority of patients and staff is Spanish. Therefore, to work at this hospital it is necessary to at least be able to read and write in English. I asked how patients receive discharge instructions, as many of them do not understand English that well, and I learned that, based on the patient’s language preference, the doctor will write their discharge instructions in Spanish to accommodate them. Usually I listen to report in the morning in Spanish, which is challenging at times to truly understand what is being discussed about each of the patients, but I am hoping that with more practice my comprehension of the language will improve. I have worked with nurses who are bilingual and have been able to talk with me a lot about their experiences here and teach me about certain nursing tasks we are doing. I have also had the opportunity to use my Spanish to communicate with nurses who do not speak English, fingers crossed that by the end I will be able to have a full-on conversation! I value the conversations I have with nurses and other healthcare professionals here, as I love learning about their experiences and nursing journey in Puerto Rico. One nurse told me that during Hurricane Maria she was here for 2 weeks working 12 hour shifts and she would sleep in the staff room with other members of the healthcare team. Wow, that is true dedication!

In my opinion, the healthcare team is like a family here. When people walk through the doors, they greet each other and give hugs and kisses on the cheek. Everyone cares about the other’s wellbeing. Each member of the healthcare team is valued, regardless of if you are an LPN, RN, secretary, pharmacist, resident or physician. The roles of each health professional are well-defined; for example, nurses do not do any ADLs nor take vitals on patients, as this is a responsibility of the LPN. The nurse’s main focus is to provide medications to their patients on time and collaborate with other healthcare professionals as needed about possible changes/ interventions to be implemented with their patients. Typically, at least in the hospital we are in, each nurse will have 4 patients, sometimes 5 at most. Interestingly, sometimes if there are not enough LPNs on the floor, one of the RNs that day will be selected to have the role of an LPN. The unit we are on is both medicine and oncology, so it has been interesting to learn about nursing care of oncology patients as well. Almost all of the patients are males and above the age of 65 years. Not only are the patients veterans, but I have met a lot of staff members who also tell me they are veterans. For example, two nurses I worked with told me they spent multiple years serving as medics. It is clear to me that their experiences have made them very knowledgeable and well-versed in their profession as a nurse. It is so different working with all patients that are veterans, and I love it. Among the healthcare team there is this genuine passion to serve those who have served our country. I think having this mindset makes the work we do all the more meaningful.

Abigail Coyman – Cultural Blog

This weekend was our first excursion and we were fortunate enough to travel to Gilligan’s Island, which was about 2 hours southwest on the coast. Fun fact, I learned that it only takes about 2 hours to drive around the whole island.

Looking out the window, the scenery quickly began to change; the typical buildings of San Juan started to become shorter and more spread out. Apartment buildings were now little colorful houses and everywhere, dogs seemed to be doing as they pleased.

Once we were on the highway, luscious hills rolled into one another, stretching as far as I could see. The highway was twisty and seemed to be the only thing around apart from the passing of small towns.

Eventually, the coastline was visible and I had never seen water so blue. Our truck somehow squeezed through the skinny road that was supposedly two ways and we finally got to our destination.

There was a little restaurant that contained every color of the rainbow and every inch of it was covered with some sort of knickknack. They ran a ferry boat that ushered people to the island, but we chose the more local route.

Our guide brought kayaks for us and we kayaked about 20 minutes to the island. The water was so blue and so clear you could see right through it. My classmate even said that it looked like the water at theme parks where they dye it to look blue.

When we got to the island I was struck with awe. Fish were swimming everywhere and it seemed as though the island wasn’t a piece of land, but a bundle of floating roots from all of its trees. They weaved in and out of the water like spider webs on the outskirts of the land and I found myself thinking that I was in paradise.

We went snorkeling and laid out in the sun and I really was at peace. This place was unimaginably beautiful, words could not describe. I watched the sun move across the sky and I thought about how we so easily get caught up in our lives and forget to stop and take a second to really enjoy what is around us.

I found my happy place that day.

More importantly, the land would not be as beautiful if it weren’t for the people who live here. That is one thing I noticed that differs greatly here; the overall benevolence of the locals. Everywhere I go it seems as though people are trying to help or even just telling me to have a good day. Friendly conversation with strangers is a part of everyday culture here and it brings a sort of supportive feel in the air.

For example, the other day we were on our way to the train and a woman stopped us and asked us what we are doing here. When we told her we are here studying nursing she got so excited she literally jumped up and down. She continued to talk to us the whole train ride and even suggested locations we should go. She seemed to take so much pride in the fact that we chose Puerto Rico as our destination.

Even the environment on the clinical floor is different. Everyone greets everyone else with a hug and a kiss on the cheek and although still very professional, there is a sort of comfortability between the nurses that I really admire. It is not every man for himself, but more of a team effort.

Along with the memory of the beautiful Gilligan’s Island, I will be sure to bring home the kindness and helpfulness the people here have shown me. They have inspired me to ditch the headphones, to look around and have casual conversations, to make someone’s day just by offering little bits of kindness. The smallest actions have a big impact on a society.

Arianna D’Agosto – Clinical Blog

Growing up in Connecticut I remembered my mother speaking highly of the VA Hospital in San Juan, Puerto Rico. She told my sisters and me that it was one of the best hospitals in Puerto Rico and only the exceptionally bright were employed. As an example, she mentioned that when she was a student in Dental School at San Juan, the best professors at the Dental School worked as Dentists at the VA. Now, 18 years later, to find myself working in the same hospital, is truly a miracle. To be working in a hospital that serves and honors veterans is truly an achievement, and to work with such incredible nurses is a blessing. Nurses shape the lives of patients, and after today’s clinicals I can certainly agree.
From clinicals thus far, I have learned that nurses at the VA hospital are truly knowledgeable, hard working and friendly. Nurses at the VA in San Juan truly work as a team, where nurses are most willing to assist other nurses in need. Nurses and LPN’s in my opinion hold a friendly and respectful relationship, where jokes and hugs were observed. In addition, it was most interesting to learn that nurses help the doctors carry out the task. From following through with the doctor’s orders to that of laughing and hugging, the relationship was most remarkable.
I was also impressed to see how nurses are truly detail oriented and methodical with medications. From that of checking the dosage to that of doing research I was most impressed. From seeing chemotherapy administered and the thorough background check completed I was most amazed. Needless to say, the nurses’ time was spent towards that of reducing error and risk.
The nurse I had the chance to follow on Wednesday was truly a patients’ advocate. From that of her patience towards those that were not compliant, I was most in awe. I admired how she often used terms of endearment towards the patients, where as a result, patients couldn’t help but smile and feel most fortunate for her company. Using terms like that of papí and mi amor were used in the most appropriate loving manner, of which my heart warmed as a result. It was nice to see the nurse listen to all the patients and provide encouragement when hope was most diminished.
Needless to say, working at the VA Hospital in San Juan thus far, has truly opened my eyes. I can only aspire to be like these inspirational nurses as they are incredibly organized and thoughtful. I pray that one day I could be part of such an incredible hospital.

Brittany Chen – Cultural Blog

I have only been living in Puerto Rico for about a week, but as of now, I am very much enjoying my time here. What surprised me the most was how autonomous Puerto Rico is, even though it is part of the United States. Besides the currency, everything is different here, such as the culture, language, healthcare system and etc. One thing that I noticed about the culture here is that you greet one another by kissing on the cheek. Everyone is also extremely nice, even on the streets. People that pass by you are really friendly and always say “good morning.” This normally does not happen in the States. Another thing that was surprising was how much improvement has been done throughout the entire island. Although there are still some buildings and highways that need repairing and some broken traffic lights, everything else seems to generally be fixed and new. It’s obvious how hard Puerto Rico has been working to recover its infrastructure from the hurricane.
Some aspects of the culture that I have enjoyed are the food and entertainment. The food in Puerto Rico is very delicious and stuff that I have never tried nor wouldn’t think to try back home. I’ve tried mofongo, which is mashed plantains, grilled churrasco (steak) with a chimichurri sauce, empanadas with guava and cheese and etc. The entertainment in Puerto Rico is nothing that I have ever seen. I attended the Sansa Festival in Old San Juan and had a great experience. This festival takes place throughout numerous streets of Old San Juan and has tons of music, dancing, food and etc. I have been to street festivals before in the States, but never were they this crowded and lively. There were people ranging from all different age groups. Every restaurant and bar was open and maxed out in capacity. There was Hispanic music blasting through the streets coming from the bars and multiple performers on various stages. It was something new and fun that I had never experienced before, but I am glad that I did.
The most beautiful place that I have visited is Isla Verde Beach. The beach is located in a tourist area of hotels, restaurants and shops. The water is so clear and blue and the weather is mostly sunny ranging from 70 to 80 degrees. Sometimes, it would rain briefly for about 20 minutes and then stop. It was just so beautiful to sit on the sand with the blue water in front of you and the palm trees behind you.
The things that I have learned here, but would not learn at home is how different every culture is from each other. The benefit to immersing yourself into a different culture that you are not used to nor familiar with is seeing the similarities and differences between my own American and Chinese cultures and the new one. Even though Puerto Rico is part of the United States, American culture is not present here, but instead a Puerto Rican culture that is entirely different. This relates to the concept of global citizenship because I believe that it’s our job as a citizen of this world to explore the world and discover what’s out there. There’s more to this world than just our bubble of comfort that we are so used to. I believe that this experience exposes us to different cultures and places that can impact how we live on an everyday basis.

Bioluminescent Bay

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PC: Tiff “Estefanía” Hochstein

The above picture is from the beautiful sunset we all saw when we went kayaking Saturday, April 9th. The tiny little specks coming off the land in the back are actually palm tress (which will be one of the many things that I will miss as our time here has almost come to an end), the sky was painted with beautiful pink and blue stripes, and the moon (that tiny little speck in the top of the picture) was starting to come out. When the sun completely set, and the stars shining bright, it was time for the biobay!!!
The biobay, AKA bioluminescent bay, is one of the many things that Puerto Rico is known for. I think the first time I heard about the biobay I was reading an article captioned “10 things you must see before you die.” All of us were very excited to see the biobay, but some of us were definitely a little wearisome about the trek out there. Our kayak adventure was about 3 miles round-trip through a tunnel carved out by the branches of the trees. I think some people’s arms were a little sore the next day, myself included. On the way back, the tunnel was completely pitch-black and silent expect for the train of kayakers, which was actually really creepy, but we all live to tell the tale.
Now lets get back to the dinoflagellates- the organisms that make the water glow. When the sun was set and we were out in the open water without any lights except for the moon and stars, our tour guides hooked all our kayaks together and gave us a tarp to throw over our heads to make it even darker. If you stuck your hand and leg in the water and moved it around, it looked like green glitter had just been dumped in the bay. This was definitely different than the pictures that I saw in my “10 things you must see before you die” article, which showed people lighting up the water with the wake of their kayaks, but at least we saw something! I guess in years past the bay has been better lit, but due to the huge drought that Puerto Rico experienced last year, the dinoflagellates died off and therefore we didn’t see the bay at its best.
Either way, if someone was to come to PR and enjoys kayaking, I would recommend doing the biobay. I think we had a good time as a group and we all made some more memories to add to our PR adventure. And for a live update: we are all having a mac-n-cheese/family dinner competition/sampling so I must go and I hope everyone likes my cookies!!! ¡adiós! -Chrissy

Med/Surg Clinical

I have enjoyed my time here in Puerto Rico at the Veteran’s Association. My previous clinical rotation was in a nursing home so the hospital provided quite a different pace. Here we are on a medical surgical unit. Coming into this clinical rotation I did not know my medications well. Passing out the medications with the nurses became like a mini quiz every day on the unit. I looked up and learned why I was giving particular medications to the patient. The nurses were very friendly, patient, and supportive- I felt comfortable learning from and observing them. Professor Apostolidis also posed me with many questions that caused me to have to look beyond the surface of a patient’s condition to the underlying pathophysiology of their multiple diagnoses that composed the song that is the patient.

This clinical rotation has not only provided me the opportunity to learn on a medical surgical floor, but other hospital units as well. I have had the privilege of shadowing in the operating room, the emergency department, and the cardiac intensive care unit. I have had unique and meaningful experiences on each of these units. It is not a goal of mine to be an OR nurse, but there is nothing quite like viewing the inside of a human body: it’s literally a glimpse into a mystery. I had my most pleasant patient interaction in the Cardiac Intensive Care Unit. I had the opportunity to spend a few hours with a patient who was on watch for an MI. He expressed multiple times how he felt I had taken such great care of him. He was so appreciative and he definitely brightened my day. One thing he kept saying to me was “You are a great nurse.” He knew that I was still in nursing school and when I replied that a good nurse is what I hope to be, he corrected me with, “No, you ARE a nurse.” That interaction has really stuck with me. I may still have plenty to learn. I may still have another year to study. I may still have an NCLEX to take. But, because of what’s in my heart, because of who I am, because of how I care for people— I AM A NURSE!

Danielle Black