I grew up in a family from Colombia, South America, where nursing does not have the professional status it does in the United States. My family has always encouraged me to pursue medical school. Their encouragement to enter this profession was seen in little aspects such as the gifts I received, which included medical kits and doctor Barbie dolls. However, as a pre-med student at Boston College, I began to question my choice. I noticed how my roommate, a nursing student, had the opportunity to dissect a brain, eye, and heart from a sheep and learn about the functions of the human body. I was beginning to think that nursing might be a career for me. During late November of my freshmen year, I finally decided to speak with Dean Catherine Read about transferring into nursing and began to take nursing classes. She asked me why I was interested in the nursing program, and I described my situation and unhappiness with pre-med. I wanted to be challenged and did not want to wait until medical school to take anatomy and physiology and other “hands-on” courses. While taking nursing classes, my perspective regarding the field changed as I learned about the roles and opportunities. I finally decided to transfer into nursing in December, and it has been the best decision I have ever made.
As a CSON student, I had the opportunity to join KILN during my sophomore year. The program motivated to attend the lecture with Dr. Terry Fulmer, BC alum and dean of the New York University College of Nursing. Her lecture impacted me a great deal because while I was deciding to transfer into nursing, and even once I did, many doubts remained in my mind. Besides discussing the Institute of Medicine Report “The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health”, Dr. Fulmer emphasized that nurses should be full partners with physicians and other health professionals. Furthermore, she stressed nurses’ capability to lead and the importance of taking on leadership roles, given that the goal in health care is to provide optimal patient care. She also communicated that the nursing profession needs to implement nurse residency programs and increase the proportion of nurses with BSN and higher degrees. Terry Fulmer’s discussion and wonderful insight provided me with a lot of knowledge and important facts that I am using to change my family’s perception of the nursing profession. The visual representation of nurses is also a crucial factor in changing the outlook of this profession. Many countries, such as Colombia, still maintain the 1820’s idea of what a nurse is; however, the United States has taken the lead in improving the global view of the nursing profession. I look forward to many great career opportunities and to the exciting changes happening in the nursing profession.