Who is a nurse that inspires you?
My aunt was an Army nurse. As far back as I can remember I wanted to be a nurse like her. I was inspired by her caring attitude, her gentle strength and compassion for her patients and her enduring conviction that caring for others was a vocation. She made house calls with her leather black bag, she would visit the sick and infirm in the community with an attitude of professionalism and caring that left a poignant impression on me, a 6-year-old child. I relished listening to her stories about her cases, and knew from that point, that I wanted to be just like her. Decades later, after following my dream of becoming a nurse, I have met along the way heroes and heroines who continue to inspire me daily and affirm my belief that I have chosen the right profession.
I can attest that my inspiration to be a nurse began with my aunt, however I also stand in awe of those who came before me and on whose shoulders I stand on. To name a few, I must recognize Mary Seacole, Mary Mahoney, Harriet Tubman, Hazel Johnson-Brown and Mabel K Stauper. I do not take their sacrifices, work ethics and their perseverance lightly. They paved the way for my journey and they continue to inspire me to be the best nurse I can be. They have aspired me to serve and the duty to inspire others to serve humanity.
I am encouraged by my former student nurses who are now full-fledged nurses, nurse practitioners, nurse educators and administrators who are today’s front-line warriors who sustain us as they report to the battle zones of COVID-19 to render care to our collective humanity. They are my heroes and they move me to be better and to inspire those who will come after us. My current students encourage me as well. They are anxious about the present, yet they bravely forge toward what the future will bring. They are my inspiration.
Stephen Ambrose says it best: “It would not be possible to praise nurses too highly”.
– Yanick Joseph, RN, Ed.D – Associate Professor, School of Nursing