Unbound Stories

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Benjamin Green

"I really love the way that physicians work with patients to create a plan of care and I knew I wanted to do that. I also wanted to be in a profession where I would always be learning and improving my skills. For me, medicine just had so many positives!

What brought me to medical school in NYC was my interest in transgender health and my connection to the Deaf Community. I knew I wanted to be somewhere that was making strides in LGBTQ health and I also wanted to be in an area where I could meet Deaf people and keep up my fluency in American Sign Language."

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Ben has a BS in Biology and is currently in medical school to become a physician. He believes passion is a huge part of getting into medical school, and encourages others to do the things that excite them and make them happy! To follow Ben’s medical journey and to check out his artwork, visit the pages below.

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Jeannette White, RN

"In moments of crisis, an ICU nurse stays calm, prioritizes, and does everything they can to save their patients. Keeping patients and family members informed, keeping a leveled head, as well as acknowledging and comforting them helps me care for my patients in the scariest and saddest of times. I’ve seen and experienced many patient’s last breaths. My job is not easy, but with each shift, I grow and develop more as a nurse. I am grateful to be called to serve others as an ICU nurse."

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Adam Nessim, MD Student

"I have found that it is important to recognize that a single score does not define you. Grades, exams, evaluations, these are all just part of the journey. What one does when they encounter a failure is more indicative of their ability to be successful than the amount of successes one has. The constant pursuit for excellence, the idea that you can better yourself every single day, and the tenacity to never give up on your dreams, is my new definition of success. I hope to continue growing as a person and student of medicine so that I can one day provide the best possible care to my patients."

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Adam is pursuing an MD at Albert Einstein College of Medicine. He is passionate about helping students apply and get into medical school. Adam also has a strong interest in personal finance and blogs about financial health.

Nacole Riccaboni

“I wish I could tell myself 10 years ago to be realistic and take it one day at a time. Learning is a process.”

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Nurse Nacole is a critical care nurse in Orlando, Florida, working on her APRN. She can be followed at www.instagram.com/nursenacole/

Katherine Reina, DNP, AGNP-C

"My late grandmother received the gift of life via a liver transplant when I was seven years old. She was one of the first patients to be flown into NYC from Puerto Rico for a liver transplant. As a result of her transplant, she was able to create memories that I will always cherish for an additional 8 years that she wouldn’t have had otherwise. I’ll never forget what a humbling and life-changing experience it was to be at her bedside-pre and post-transplant. Years later, nursing called on me at the age of 17.
My grandmother’s gift has shaped me as an ICU nurse and has helped me provide care for both donors and recipients. Furthermore, being Latina and having a first-hand experience with language barriers in healthcare- I strive to become a bridge for those who cannot advocate for themselves. My 7+ years of ICU experience has prompted to me to further my studies so that I can bring all of the expertise to where it is needed most- primary care. My hopes are to provide quality and cost-effective care to underserved populations. I truly believe nurses are the heart of healthcare and our profession expresses an art that speaks to the mind, body, and soul of each individual. As a DNP, I hope to continue contributing not only thru patient care but at the systematic level. I want to be a part of the meaningful change that is needed today to optimize our community’s health.”

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Nurse Reina is a critical care registered nurse and nurse practitioner. She can be followed at www.instagram.com/kreinarn/.

Dr. Ma. Gia B. Sison

“It was a totally new dimension when a doctor becomes a patient, it felt like I bungee jumped into a world I dealt with in my daily life but it felt totally surreal when you take on the role as a patient yourself. I have always loved being a doctor and being with my patients but after cancer, it has connected me further into another dimension of the vocation I live for. I was already practicing as a consultant at that time and dealing with patients afflicted with any condition at that matter has taught me that medicine goes beyond the four walls of the hospital, it’s something that should be lived carrying on towards the definition of health in totality which is health of mind, body, and spirit.”

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Dr. Sison is a Thomasian Filipino Doctor, blogger, and Breast Cancer Survivor.

Megan - Oncology RN, BSN, OCN

"Nursing is beautiful, but life is fragile and our current staff ratios can put individuals life’s at risk. Being a new nurse, I am able to see first hand where there have been instances where I have left caring for a patient emotionally or rushed through an activity to go chart because of "deadlines". Having a 4:1 patient-nurse ratio is unsafe. I should not have to worry about time constraints with charting so that I am able to provide both physical and emotional support to my patients."

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Mighty Nurse Megan is an outpatient oncology infusion nurse sharing tidbits of what life is like as a nurse. She can be followed at www.mightynursemegan.com.

Patricia Lafontant

"Watching my father battle cancer and succumb to it, I learned that nursing was a journey, with highs and lows, but I truly feel like the closest thing to God is a Nurse because in that last dying moment it’s just you and the patient. The exchange between the two whether it’s silence, a look, staggering words, or just a touch is the most powerful human exchange ever. "

Jonathan Almeida

"I feel definitely anxious for the mere fact that a lot of things learned in the texts are different when performed in the hospital setting, and I’ll finally have my own patients without a teacher near me to guide me, but I couldn’t feel any more ready to get out there and begin my career."

Ashley Adkins

"Most days I go home and think of one situation or another that happened during my shift. I struggled more with this when I first became a nurse. I was constantly worrying about ’did I remember to chart that?’ or ’what if I gave that med too fast?’ etc. It affected me so much at first that I didn’t sleep well my first few months of being a nurse. But now, I am able to go home at night and rest easy. I have learned that nurses are not perfect. We forget to chart things, do things, etc. As long as we are doing the best we can during our shifts, and keeping our patients safe, that is what matters. "

Dan Flynn NRP, RN-BSN, BS

"Death was probably one of the biggest hurdles for me early in my career. Though I knew it would be part of the job, and it was discussed, no one can prepare you for the experience. No one can prepare you to have the talk with a family member who lost a parent, a child or a friend. There is no preparation. We must rely on our own values and respect for one another to handle this professionally, yet in an understanding manner. This, unfortunately, takes practice to perfect. I wake up with the same goal every day, to do the best I can in all aspects of my life. Being a Nurse, Paramedic and Auto Mechanic, people rely on my experience and honesty no matter the reason they call on me, and I work hard to fulfill their expectations."

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Dan regularly appears on the A&E series, Nightwatch, a reality documentary on New Orleans police, fire, and EMS first responders. Follow the pages below to watch Dan’s personal journey in the medical field.

Elizabeth Scala, MSN/MBA, RN

"To be honest- it used to be a lot harder to leave emotions at work. And I know for a fact that I am not alone in this feeling. Now, as a nurse burnout prevention expert, I hear from nurses across the country that they too struggle to leave work... at work. I get emails, phone calls, and even posts on social media asking me how to turn off the working mind when at home. These days, for me, it has become much easier. I have several transitions from work to home boundary rituals that I do. I have studied mindfulness-based stress reduction- which helps me stay grounded in the present moment. I trust my colleagues and know that nursing is a 24/7 operation. If I am able to enjoy my home while I am home... it makes me a MUCH better nurse when I am at work!"

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Elizabeth is a Johns Hopkins-trained Registered Nurse, bestselling author, keynote speaker, and consultant on burnout prevention for nurses in all specialties. To watch Elizabeth’s journey in healthcare, follow the pages below.

Amanda, Instagram @coffeeandscrubs

"I think there are two big things you have to consider when getting into the medical field. - 1. At what level of medicine are you comfortable with being for the rest of your life (i.e. nurse, PA, NP, doctor, etc.) and 2. How much you want a life outside of your field. I think that all levels of medicine are extremely important but there are differences in terms of leadership among them. If you want to be the one determining orders, consider becoming a doctor. If you want direct patient interaction and care, nurses are amazing! I want to become a doctor but I struggled with the idea that I might not be at every one of my child’s soccer games or have a lot of time for my significant other. I think that it is all still doable but may require more effort than other professions."

Victoria Lu

"Let’s face it. Medical school is tough. We have high expectations from everyone around us: our parents, professors, family, and friends, but the highest expectations come not from others, but from ourselves. We push ourselves to our physical, mental, and emotional limits and then push a little further. We spend too much time learning, studying, living, and breathing medicine and not enough time taking care of ourselves. And when we do take care of ourselves, we feel guilty about it thinking we don’t “deserve” to have fun or do anything other than study. I’ve been in that place, and I’ve come to realize that it’s unhealthy. It’s hard to get out of this mindset when there are constant pressures to pass exams, perform well on the boards, and land a residency in the field of your choice, but self-deprivation and burnout will benefit neither you nor your future patients. In order to take care of others, we must first take care of ourselves. So next time you decide to go to the gym or skip out on a study sesh, don’t feel guilty. You deserve it."

Amy Faith Ho, MD

"I’ve been an ER physician for 3 years as a resident and I finish residency in June! When I applied for medical school I had a strong interest in health policy and wanted to go to medical school as a reconnaissance mission of sorts to learn the industry from the "inside". I ended up loving emergency medicine because of the breadth and excitement of the job. You never know what’s coming through the doors, and that predictable unpredictability is what makes the job fun. As a policy hack, the ER is also the safety net for all of society at all levels, from homeless to prisoners to addicts to gang members -- it teaches you a certain level of compassion for all of humanity that is truly incredible."

Dr. Rukmini (Vinaya) Rednam - Board-certified plastic & reconstructive surgeon, Houston, TX

"I wish more people saw the importance of plastic surgery and reconstruction for not only functional but emotional health. The current opinion of plastic surgery in healthcare today is one of a frivolous specialty that preys on emotionally fragile people. This is an opinion held by many elected officials, the public and even by other medical practitioners. And yes, while some people in my specialty fit this bill, most plastic surgeons entered the specialty to support and strengthen women and men whether dealing with emotional cosmetic issues or life-changing reconstructive issues."

Dr. Cassondra Majestic

"I would really like to see more education available to the public. Whether this is administered via social media, tv, or community programs, the public needs to be educated on many basic medical topics. We in America have a major problem with the appropriate utilization of resources. Of course, I can speak directly on the Emergency Department, because that is my place of work, but this
really applies to a variety of specialties in medicine. It is clear that we are not doing our job in educating patients on when to use the Emergency Department versus urgent care versus a primary care office. I believe that we as physicians have the ability to educate patients on these topics however are at a loss for a time due to the soar in the volume of patients we all see, in this day and age."

Christina Beltran - Nursing Student

"What scares me most about my profession is not being good enough in the field. Nursing is very competitive once you get into the field and you are required to work long hours while handling multiple tasks. I have confidence that assures me that I will be great in the field, but there is always that fear. I don’t want to be just an ordinary nurse, I want to be an extraordinary nurse. I want to give my patients the best care I can give filled with love and compassion; furthermore, I am willing to go the extra mile for my patients."

Nurse Danika

"In nursing school, I was a cardiovascular care tech in the cardiac cath lab. I was on call over 50 hours per week for emergent angioplasty. Most of these "call-ins" were due to an ST elevated myocardial infarction (STEMI). I will never forget my first STEMI off orientation. The adrenaline immediately started flowing upon being woken at 2 am by my pager alerting "STEMI ETA 0227". I remember the gut-sinking feeling I had when this patient rolled through our doors. I was unfamiliar with a lot yet, but I did know this guy was very sick. Blood pressure was low, heart rate was high, saturation was low, respiratory rate was high - cardiogenic shock. As the procedure got started, the first few "pictures" of his heart were not very promising. We started preparing to place a few coronary stents and suddenly the EKG starts looking pretty wonky. Next thing I knew, a shock was delivered to the patient and the doctor wanted an intra-aortic balloon pump STAT. Suddenly the room flooded with people I didn’t know. Code team. I’m fumbling with the balloon pump, running every which where to grab this and that. Yelling over the crowd of people to communicate. At one point, the doctor deployed a stent between chest compressions. Unfortunately, the compressions were the only thing perfusing this patient. I had lost a patient before as a CNA in a long term care facility before but this was different. When the doctors decided to call it, I instantly felt involuntary tears rolling down my face, behind my glasses and mask. The amount of energy and adrenaline that was exerted in an attempt to save their life was overwhelming. I remember this case so vividly not only because a life was lost but also because I learned what I was capable of."

Caroline - Traveling ER Nurse

"As a traveler, you pretty much have to prove yourself at every assignment. The management that hired you knows your resume/ background/ experience but your fellow coworkers do not, so they might initially be skeptical of your nursing abilities and knowledge. "Proving" yourself as a good nurse/ traveler can be very tricky. You don’t want to come off as a know-it-all or like your better than anyone, humility and being teachable are very important, but also sticking to your guns when you know your assessment of a patient is correct is even more important. That being said, at one of my assignments I had a patient that came in with chest pain. His EKG and blood work didn’t show a heart attack but I had a bad feeling about him, I knew something wasn’t right. I was watching his cardiac monitor like a hawk and kept noticing changes that would come and go so quickly but always leave the patient feeling terrible. I notified the doc every time I saw the changes occurring and would repeat EKGs. Several of my coworkers and even other doctors on the shift were scoffing at me for ordering so many EKGs and paying so much attention to someone that was "stable." It was embarrassing but my gut feeling told me to stay close and keep watching. The patient ended up going into a lethal heart rhythm right before my eyes, I was able to start CPR and call a Code Blue the moment he lost his pulse. We shocked the patient, got his pulse back, sent him to the catch lab where they found a massive occlusion in a vessel of his heart. We ended up saving his life and he got to go home with his wife a few days later. All of that to say, you will be doubted as a nurse, even more so as a traveling nurse, but trust your nursing judgment and gut feelings even when others don’t, it may save a life."

Dr. Jonathan S Kung - Gastroenterology Fellow

"I will always remember as a third-year internal medicine resident at UCLA-Harbor prior to starting my GI fellowship, I had the privilege of caring for the general health of an amazing 106-year-old lady in my outpatient clinic. Through her life experiences, she taught me the value of promoting general health and wellness in medicine through happiness, humor, healthy lifestyle, physical activity, and a healthy, but no restricted diet. She is still living today flanked by her positive outlook on healthy living. Something that often worries me about is that my patients who need regular follow-up for various medical diseases, will not be able to follow-up regularly and can be lost in the system due to poor socioeconomic status or other non-medically related issues."

Adanna - PA Student

"For those minorities thinking about pursuing higher education... do it! Don’t let anything stop you from bettering yourself. Don’t worry about the cost, or finding the money to pay for it. If you get in God will make way for you to make it through. Instead of worrying about things that you can’t control, focus on what you can create, which is a better future for you and your family. The road may be marked with ups and downs but you will thank yourself in the end, and you will be all the much better for it."

Tunde Oshikoya - PA Student

"I would like to see healthcare professionals regain control of our beloved field. We go through years of sacrifice, training, and education only to be regulated by insurance companies, government officials and individuals who have never seen the inside of an operating room. Healthcare has been reduced to a political lobbying point and as a result, I believe the patients are who ultimately suffer most. Healthcare is a right for all, not a privilege for some."

Amber Laura, PA-S

"I encourage that we have open, forthcoming dialogue among minorities and non-minorities about the disparities that we experience and how this has affected us throughout the years. With open conversation and education, this can enlighten non-minorities about the struggles that we deal with and shed light on our problems, and we can then find possible solutions to these obstacles. This is not going to be an overnight fix, but at least, it’s a start. To minorities that desire to break into the PA profession, DO IT! Don’t let anything or anyone tell you that you are not good enough because you are. You deserve this just as much as the next person. I also think that we should start educating the inner cities and areas that are heavily populated with minorities about the PA profession and other options in the medical field, and this might decrease the gap between minorities and non-minorities, and eventually, diversify the medical field."

Estephania Rivasplata-Vignolo, PAS-2

"Being from a different country, do you think you face different struggles than other minorities that were born in the US? Definitely. I had a microsecond to adjust to this brand new system and culture since I was already enrolled to start college and it was now or never. I came here when I was 21, and I was already on a route towards my medical degree. Coming here to find out how hard would it be to continue with my education was a real call and there were many times where I actually thought about going back to my country. I thought I wasn’t capable of "making it" here. Not many people know, but I came here also by myself, I have no family here except for my fiance’s family who kindly took me under their wing and they always made me feel welcome, but it was a very hard couple of years at the beginning, not being able to be back home for holidays, birthdays, or even emergencies was one of the toughest things I have had to go through as an immigrant. English is my second language and although I feel like I am proficient now, it was very difficult for me to be able to communicate at the beginning."

Demi Soulet, MPAS, PA-C

"It is truly a gift having the opportunity to directly affect one of the most important pieces of a human’s life, their health. The work that healthcare providers do on a daily basis is honorable and I wanted to be a part of that. Having had my own health problems during my undergraduate years of college, I became frustrated with the treatment I was receiving from some of my own providers. At times, it felt I was just another item on the assembly line of patients. This motivated me even more to become a provider that would be apart of the change to that approach to medicine."

Nurse Nelson - Operating Room Nurse

"When I was growing up, I had no idea what I wanted to be. I was lucky enough to be hired at an ENT office with incredible providers that helped me reach my potential. We did several in-office procedures including MOHs repairs and lipoma excisions. I believe my love for surgical procedures began watching Grey’s Anatomy (which is nothing like what I do) but grew when I was able to be a part of the actual procedures. I knew that working as a floor nurse would never be enough for me; I needed to be a part of the surgical team. I have been through 2 of 4 months of surgical orientation, rotating through specialties two weeks at a time, and it has been the best two months. I do not feel sluggish at work, and I do not feel unhappy. I’d like you to know that it’s not true what they say: OR nurses lose skills. In fact, I feel I have gained more skills than I’ve lost. I plan to continue my education and return to the ENT office that fueled my fiery passion and work as a Nurse Practitioner. Working in the OR allows me to work alongside the providers and learn a great deal from them. OR nursing is a different universe, one that I am absolutely grateful to be in."

Jenny W. - 4th-year medical student

"I would like to see more women in leadership roles in healthcare. Over half of medical school matriculants are now female, but only 16% of leadership positions in hospitals and schools are filled by women. Policy changes start from the top-down, and I think we need more female role models in positions of power who inspire change. We bring a unique perspective to the table on issues regarding education, physician wellness, harassment, family planning, just to name a few. And I believe our voices deserve to be heard."

Ronald Harrington - Nursing Student

"I had a cardiac ablation in 2011 and the nurses who treated me in the ER, before my procedure and after truly made some of the scariest days of my life more comfortable then I would think possible. The compassion, understanding, and skill these nurses possessed were truly eye-opening. I knew without a doubt after these encounters that nursing was for me. I wanted to be in a position to help care for people who were having the worst days of their lives and make them a bit easier. I am currently in my third semester and the hardest thing about school right now is time management. Nursing school takes all of your time, you need to be dedicated to your education and it can be difficult. I find it necessary to make time for quick breaks away from studying. For myself, going to the gym or spending an hour or two with friends each week gives me just enough of a break to let my mind rest and reset so I can dive back into my studies."

Angela Ohanu CRNA, MSN

"What it means to be a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA) is continuing to be a leader in the ever-changing healthcare industry. For many decades we have provided safe and cost-effective high-quality anesthesia care. This is why Nurse Anesthesia spoke to me, because of its long history as a trusted professional. I also desired to be a representation of the African American community in the CRNA profession to further advocate for this disenfranchised community in the healthcare industry.”

Kara Pravdo, Masters of Science in Nursing, Women’s Health and Gender-Related Nurse Practitioner

"I became a Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner so that I would gain the skills to support patients and their families in any way that was needed. I am glad to provide gynecology and pregnancy care and strive to practice in a way that centers shared decision making, putting patients first, never judging someone’s life or decisions and working to increase access to care and decrease stigma. I love nursing because I am constantly learning from my colleagues and my patients. Nursing offers flexibility and growth at every stage. Even on the hardest days, I am glad to be able to show up for my patients and provide the best possible care."

2d Lt Jay Nichols - Critical Care Nurse, USAF NC, CCATT

"I became a Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner so that I would gain the skills to support patients and their families in any way that was needed. I am glad to provide gynecology and pregnancy care and strive"Being a nurse means you carry immense responsibility. You step into peoples lives and make a difference. Some bless you, others curse you. You see people at their best & at their worst. You see life begin & end. You also see people’s capacity for love, strength, and endurance. Every day I wear this uniform I’m reminded that I am now more than just a nurse. I am an American Airman; wingman, leader, warrior. I answered my nations called. Being a nurse never ends, whether I’m at work or jumping to action on my day off. I took a pledge to care for those who can’t care for themselves. Being a Critical Care Nurse in the AF and a part of CCATT means that when our men and women are in critical situations needing to be transported to a higher level of care so their chances of survival are increased, I have an opportunity to be alongside them."

Cameron Hershey, Trauma Nurse, Future NP

"Trauma nursing is great because it is ever changing and you never know what the next shift, hour, or even minute will bring. You have to be ready and confident in your skills at a moments notice and I definitely feed off of the adrenaline. Although a big part of the job is the traditional sense of ‘trauma’ like car accidents, shootings, stabbings and severe injuries we also handle medical emergencies such as STEMIs, strokes, overdoses, and codes.
We basically stabilize the sickest patients so they can be moved out to OR, the ER floor or be admitted to ICU/PCU/and MedSurge. I love being able to be apart of such a critical step in someone’s care and really jumpstart the healing process. Of course, trauma nursing has its downsides as well. Many of the patients and families we see are having the worst day of their lives or have just discovered some very troubling news. It is our job to not only provide life-saving interventions but also emotional and therapeutic support. Also because we are the first step in care, we often do not get to spend significant time with our patients. We do not get to see their status improve or get to follow their journeys like inpatient nurses. This can make it a very thankless position at times."

Rochelle - BNRN Nursing Student

"Many nurses say they’ve known they wanted to be nurses since the day they were born, but I didn’t. It wasn’t until I got older that I realized that those closest to me were ill. Whenever they would discuss their recent tests, new drugs, or what the doctor told them, I became curious. This curiosity led me down a path of education and self-discovery. I knew I wanted to help people, but I didn’t know-how. One night, I put in an application for nursing school. I don’t know why, but I did and I haven’t looked back. Nursing has made me look at life a different way and I love it. I have become more selfless, less judgmental and able to handle anything"

Andrea Resendez, BSN Student

"At 6 weeks old, my baby brother was diagnosed with epilepsy. Throughout his entire life, he has been in and out of the hospital. Each and every single time he has been hospitalized, there has been a wonderful team of medical professionals that have left an everlasting mark on myself and my family. They cared for my brother as if he was their own family member and I will always remember that! After seeing this occur so much, I immediately began to have a passion for Nursing and I knew that I wanted to leave a positive mark on other people’s lives as well."

Latorian Smith, RN

"I have failed nursing school before and I have failed tests, but that did not stop me from reaching my goal of becoming a Registered Nurse. I know how hard nursing school is, and sometimes you just want to throw in the towel and say forget it. Realize you are human and sometimes we are overwhelmed, but we are also conquerors and can overcome any situation.
Keep going…when it is hard
Keep going…when you feel like quitting
Keep going…when you fail
Keep going…when you are crying
Keep going…when you have not slept
Keep going…when you have not eaten
Keep going…when you are tired

It will all be worth it when you talk with that one patient that thanks you for the care you provided!"

Carlos Barranco - Surgical-Trauma ICU nurse

"If you are considering nursing school, make sure it’s really something you want. You have to give 200% in nursing school and you will have to make some sacrifices in order to be a successful nurse. Social life, extracurriculars, and other activities might have to take a backseat at times. I also suggest getting some kind of healthcare experience through shadowing, volunteering or working. I found that these experiences helped me to decide if nursing was for me."

Jennifer Horawski

"Medical School has been everything and more than I could have ever dreamed of, but also one of the hardest things I’ve done in my life. Not only is it a rigorous academic schedule, but it is also mentally taxing. I’ve found it very difficult to deal with the fact that life goes on while in medical school - life happens while you’re studying or in the hospital and it’s tough to try to balance that with your studies. I had a lot of personal struggles while I was at home studying for my Step One, and even though those were the hardest months of my life, I learned that you always have to take a step back and take a break. Your focus and attention will thank you later. So my advice, although it may seem backward, is to take a break when you need it."

Jessica Ruocco - travel nurse, L&D RN, and RNC-OB

“I always knew I wanted to pursue a career in healthcare but wasn’t exactly sure what I wanted to do. My first BS was in Kinesiology and after graduating I was still unsure how I’d use that degree. I spent some time working with children with special needs and quickly learned that my passion was helping those who needed help. I truly love helping people in their time of need and what better profession than nursing to be able to provide care for those people. And so I set off to obtain my second degree; BSN! I am now a nurse for 3 years and it’s been the best decision I’ve ever made! I truly love all the ups and downs that this job has, I love making connections with my patients and their families and to be able to provide the best care I can to them. It’s never to late to follow your passion, heart, and journey! Believe in yourself and the rest will fall into place!”

Emily Zimmerman, BSN RN

"Nursing central’s easy to use and quick access to Davis’s drug guide helped me throughout my whole nursing school experience by allowing me to look up any information and important guidelines whether in class or in a clinical setting. As a novice nurse, I have been challenged by remembering high alert medications, diagnosis, and specific nursing guidelines; however, nursing central has given me a peace of mind knowing that I can quickly check myself in any location or setting."

Shakira Lynn DNP, APRN, FNP-C

"I utilize Nursing Central in practice almost daily as it provides the most up to date information on diseases and disorders. As a Nurse Practitioner, it is extremely important to utilize the most current healthcare information when treating and providing holistic care for patients. Nursing Central has helped me in practice as it allows me to ensure that I’m providing quality care to my patients. There are several instances where I have used the application while treating patients. I use the Davis Drug Guide to research medication options for my patients and review the adverse effects of different medications. This application has definitely impacted the way I practice."

Jessica Richter RN, WCTC

"Nursing Central was a go-to resource for me to have easy access to throughout my school year. This incredibly resourceful app not only help me during my clinical experience but also supplemented my studying during school. One of my clinical sites did not utilize Epic and also did not micrometer accessible. I was able to login to my nursing central account on their computers while on-site, and lookup various medications and patients medical history diagnosis/procedures. This allowed me to be able to think more critically with patient care and to understand more “why” I was doing a particular procedure or medication and not just simply doing it because it was ordered. I also appreciated how I could easily look up a medical term that I was not completely familiar with when I was studying. This resource broke down what I was looking for and helped me to pass all of my classes on the 1st attempt and have a better understanding of various variables involved in nursing health care. I have two children, one of which had special needs. This resource allowed me to expand my learning not only at home but also on the go. This continues to be my “go-to” resource for nursing care questions and expansion of learning."

Tina Hernandez - Certified cardiovascular technician and LPN student

"I decided to go into nursing because of my grandmother. Before her passing, I learned what it truly meant to look after and to help care for someone through the ailing process. She is my reason for nursing."

Jessica Greenemeier

"I love operating, seeing patients and figuring out what their diagnosis is. PA school was rough but was also the best time of my life. I absolutely love what I do. I wanted to be hands-on in medicine, and being a PA seemed the best way (for me) to do that. I’m actually the only person in my family to go into medicine, and I’m also the first college grad in my family!
My biggest fear as a PA is that one of my mistakes will be a "big one". We all make mistakes, and you learn from them, but you can’t repeat the same mistake again. My physician and I do big surgeries (esophagectomies, Whipples, etc). You have to know what you’re doing at all times because you never know what will happen."

Jenella Hall RN, BSN

"What I like most about the Nursing Central app is the ease of access. If I have a question about a drug interaction or any side effects or adverse effects, the drug guide is just one click away. It also tells you how the medication should be given, at what rate it should be given, etc. It was a godsend during clinical when my preceptor or a patient would ask me about medication. It also has a plethora of scholarly articles to read up on during the downtime. I honestly LOVE unbound medicine. I plan to use it throughout my career.”

Justin A. Dobosh RN, BSN

"I very much appreciated the “Prime For You” tab. It provided evidence-based practice and research articles about a variety of subjects and pinpointed topics based on my interests from what I looked up within the app. Of course, “Davis’s Drug Guide” was extremely helpful, because as we all know those pesky medications can get overwhelming and tedious. Having that security kept me confident with the reassurance that I had a reliable source to refer to if needed. I was in my preceptorship on an advanced heart failure unit when a doctor came by checking on one of my patients. Upon listening to her decipher which medications required adjustments, I noticed she was struggling with remembering what dosages were available for one of the medications. I quickly pulled out Nursing Central(NC) and looked it up. Come to find out the dose she was thinking of wasn’t even an available dose. I showed her all the correct dosages for that medication and she then affirmed which dose to give. She asked me what program I was using. I proudly showed her. She thanked and told me about strong work. My preceptor was in awe, as she begged to see my NC app. She wished she had it for her nursing program. That was just one of many situations throughout my program in which NC made me feel like a competent nurse. Don’t ever let someone tell you to rethink your career choice. Challenge the opposition, in its many forms, and fight for what you want. There will be trials and tribulations along the way because life can get real “life” at the worst possible time. It’s not how many times you get knocked down, it’s what you do when you get back up that defines you. Prove them wrong in the best possible way. Hold your head high and smile all the way across that stage."

Emily Cheng - BSN, RN, and CCRN-CSC

"As nurses, we are put to the test mentally, physically, and spiritually every day. One of my biggest fears of being a nurse is giving my all to a patient, but still falling short. I’ve experienced this many times, and what I’ve learned from these experiences is that despite our best efforts, sometimes the outcome will not be what we hoped it would be. However, we can’t let the bad days and outcomes drive us down because when we look at the privilege we have to make a difference and save more lives than we lose, that’s a powerful and beautiful thing. I’m so honored and proud to be able to be a nurse - a lifetime of growth, opportunity, education, giving back, and saving lives. Besides, I believe that a little fear keeps you on your toes and from your comfort zone - a dangerous place to be. There’s no growth to be had there!"

Anna Maria Ruiz - CRNA Student

"Nursing school is meant to be treated as a full-time job all on its own. But with the financial demands of college, I’ve had to work full-time jobs all throughout nursing school. And right now I actually have 2 jobs, both in hospitals in my area. My time is extremely limited. Juggling my jobs with schooling has been, without a doubt, the most exhausting thing about being a nursing student.
What helps me is making a schedule every day. I plan out 1-2 hours of reading/studying every day after work. Also, I review my notes and PowerPoints at work in my downtime."

Amy Mueller

"I love people. Plain and simple. I like to get to know my patients, to learn their stories, to understand who they are. I know that every patient I interact with has a life outside of this small moment in their lives. I try my best to know more about the world they live in. I love connecting with people and knowing them for who they are, not the diagnosis that brought them in. I also love science and I love to learn. Nursing is a profession that I get to combine all of these things."

Kaylin A. Ramangkoun - Nursing Student

"I decided to go into nursing after exploring different career options in the healthcare field. I took a CNA course in high school, which introduced me to the field. I’ve known I wanted to help others since then.
I would have to say the hardest thing about school right now is tying everything together and looking at the bigger concept. I was always so detail-oriented about my studies that I never took a step back and learned the concept as a whole. I would know medications and clinical manifestations, but not connect the dots. A thing that is helping me with this during school is consistently asking myself “why?” This helps me articulate my thoughts and spark my critical thinking."

Nicholis Morales, MD

"I’ve known I wanted to be a doctor since I was 5 years old. I was in kindergarten and I had terrible handwriting. Someone’s dad was visiting and he saw my terrible handwriting and commented, "you’d make a great doctor." As far as I can remember, that was when I had the thought of being a doctor. I worked my way through high school, college and am now only a few short months from graduating and finally reaching that goal. Throughout my schooling, I have had many experiences, like assisting with my first surgery, that have helped solidify that I am meant to do medicine. I can’t see myself doing anything else (except as a tour guide on the Jungle Cruise at Disneyland)."

Stephanie - Instagram: @baublesandbrains

"Starting medical school, you know that it is going to be hard, but you never really know how hard or in what ways it will be until you get there and experience it. What I have found to be the hardest, that I wish I knew when I started, is the seclusion that can be felt when going through this journey. What I mean by this is that there are people in medical school and there are others, outsiders, the ones who understand and the ones living their “normal” lives. It can be hard to find time to add in the other aspects of a fulfilling life during school because you are just so busy studying all the time. To combat this, I started my blog to try to have an outlet to connect to others and provide a way for me to focus on other aspects of life in addition to school. It has greatly helped to have something else to focus on and has been a great way for me to de-stress. I would encourage any new student in rigorous coursework to find something to channel their creativity and connect to individuals outside of their college circle."

Rachel Samardak - MPAS

"My biggest fear about being a PA is not feeling adequate enough, especially since I’ll soon be a new PA, which I feel is a pretty common fear for most new PAs, as well as PA students who are in their clinicals. The more you know, the more you realize you don’t know. Not having all the answers or knowing what to do in a situation is a major fear of any new clinician, but what I think is important is to remember you have to start somewhere. When I started PA school, I never thought I’d be able to see patients and come up with treatment plans on my own, assist in the OR, or educate patients on their diseases and prevention- but I can. While I’m still learning (learning is a life long process in medicine), there is remarkable growth from the start to the finish. What I’ve learned to battle this fear is to surround yourself with colleagues who help you and are willing to teach, but also to trust the process, study hard, and never give up! When things get rough remembering why we do what we do can help us gain some perspective."

Shannara - Instagram: @she_to_md

"I originally went to college to become a dance therapist. I thought it was an interesting and creative way to help people. After realizing it wasn’t for me, I decided to become a doctor. I think it was always in the back of my mind, but what really solidified my decision was when I was volunteering in the ER and saw a woman come into the trauma bay. She was surrounded by male healthcare professionals and had to have her clothes cut off and looked really uncomfortable. From then on, I wanted to help increase the presence of females in the medical community and increase the quality of care that women receive."

Amber Trapnell

"My biggest fear about being a nurse is not being the best nurse I can be. I don’t want to be the type of nurse that is always behind and can’t manage time well. I want to be the type of nurse who is on top of everything, helps others, and is willing to teach other people about things I’m doing and why I’m doing it."

Kammi Kurtz - BSN

"I got into nursing for a few reasons. I wanted to go into the medical field, but I didn’t know exactly what I wanted to do. In high school, I got really sick for 2 years, where I needed a blood transfusion and my body was going into shock and found out my stomach was completely ulcerated. Being in and out of the hospital and doctors offices, the nurses I spent time with really made the journey better. They comforted me, made me feel like I wasn’t in the situation that I was in, and so much more. That made me want to give back and be there for other patients the way my nurses were there for me and the Lord really put it on my heart to go into nursing."

Jasmine Jones - Instagram: @beautiful_jasminemarie

"I got into nursing to help people and touch lives on a day to day basis. Since becoming a nurse, I have also found a love for helping women like myself in healthcare care, so I created an organization called Pretty Practice to unite women in healthcare. Our goal is to inspire, empower, uplift, and mentor one another in and out of our professional lives. Pretty Practice bridges the gap for women in healthcare that come from all different walks of life. We promote diversity, self-care, furthering education, and we’re also a catalyst for networking, encouraging others to be there for one another. We want to ensure all women, regardless of race and ethnicity, are supported by our organization. Women are incredible and I want to acknowledge women, especially those in healthcare because I can relate."

Victor H. Rodriguez

"Growing up, I witnessed the impact that lack of healthcare can cause within my family. My parents would spend their money on us rather than helping themselves. My grandmother was also diagnosed with diabetes, and seeing her progress to end-stage renal disease was difficult to watch. However, during my master program, I saw that this issue was not common to me, but to many in our country. I went into medicine to help identify and tackle problems that lead to health disparities and disproportionate health outcomes in underserved communities." - First-generation American, BS in Biochemistry & Molecular Biology and BA in Spanish and German from Trinity University. He also has an MPH from Texas A&M University School of Public Health and is currently working on his MD from Texas A&M University College of Medicine.

Rand Diab, MD

"If medicine is truly what you want, then look for helpers along the way. We each have our personal challenges in this path; look for someone who can relate to yours. Help comes in many forms. Allies are people who will assist you in certain parts of this journey, big or small. They may be your peers or ahead of you on the road. Mentors are people well ahead of you who can give you guidance and aid you towards success. It is great if you can have both!"

Helena Gaviria, MD. FAAP

“Realizing I was not the best anymore (as compared to High School) was the hardest part of medical school. Also dealing with the competition and the stress of tests every other week. My parents and my husband have been my support in every way. Also practicing yoga helped to decrease stress. For anyone considering medical school, it is a beautiful field and is for everyone with compassion for others and who is willing to study a lot and give a lot at work.”

Emily Kneeream - PharmD

"Pharmacy is always changing, so my fear is that the further out from school I get the less I will know, and then be less qualified for my position. I try to combat this by getting information forwarded to me by some awesome pharmacy organizations that keep me updated on my area of pharmacy (specialty). The PharmD program was a hard road, but also one of the best experiences of my life so far. The hardest part for me was the massive amount of information that I tried to cram into my brain -- usually a few days before the exam. Two things really helped me to feel less overwhelmed. 1. My amazing faculty (shout out Wilkes Pharmacy!) who were always an email or office visit away and would answer any/all of my questions and assure me that I was doing just fine. 2. The support team I really relied on was my classmates. They knew exactly what I was feeling and studying together really helped us to master the material. I never thought I would miss those late library nights, but I really do!"

Heather Bergdahl, MD, MBA

"As far back as I can remember my family has faced overwhelming health and emotional well-being challenges. While still a child, I supported my parents in caring for my younger brother who was born with autism, cerebral palsy, and profound deafness. Later, during my teenage years, my mother suffered a prolonged ischemic stroke resulting in permanent right-side paralysis. I watched in disbelief as my father was thrust into the dual roles of caregiver and provider. These circumstances forced me to grow up early so I could help my father take care of our disabled family members. It was in these early years I gained my first insights into the spectrum of healthcare, physical therapy, and life-long medical treatment. It was a result of experiencing the medical challenges my family members faced that I decided to become a doctor."

Wayne Ledinh, MD

"Someone considering medical school obviously wants to help and care for people. Don’t just blindly pursue medical school because you think that it is prestigious to be a physician or that you will be wealthy. It is an extremely lengthy and difficult journey with many sleepless nights, sacrifices, and heartaches. Seek out as many experiences as possible in healthcare before making a final decision. Convince yourself that you will not be satisfied or fulfilled in your work life with being anything other than a physician in the medical field because you can still make a difference and help patients in many different roles, be it as a nurse, physical therapist, respiratory therapist, physician assistant, pharmacist, etc." - Dr. Ledinh was born in a refugee camp on the small island of Galang in Indonesia as his parents were on their way to the United States.