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YON 2020 Day 151: Holly Ma, MS, BSN, RN, NPD-BC

Her interest in nursing was sparked by an experience as a child. Here, Holly Ma, MS, BSN, RN, NPD-BC, the Marian Shaughnessy Endowed System Director of Nursing Education and the Nurse Leader Center for the University Hospitals Health System, offers advice for anyone interested in this profession.

Growing up, my father had many health issues. When I was seven, I recall him having a seizure, falling, and hitting his head. My mom instructed me to run and get our neighbor, Terrie, as we were waiting for an ambulance to arrive. Terrie is a registered nurse. I can remember as if it were yesterday, how scared I was, and running as fast as possible to her. Without hesitation, she ran to our house to help. I don’t think she did anything medical, except keep him safe, but I do remember how she made me feel. It seemed like everything was going to be okay and I felt much calmer. She truly helped my mom, dad, and me during a very frightening moment. I became a nurse because I want to help others and desired to provide the “calm” for others, often in their worst moments. I can’t imagine any other profession that could have such a tremendous impact on the lives of others as nursing does.

To someone interested in the nursing profession I would recommend that you be clear about why you want to be a nurse. Nursing can be a tough profession, emotionally and physically draining at times, so being in it for the right reason will sustain you through the challenging times.

I would also recommend being open and a positive force for others. There are so many opportunities within this profession. Try a new specialty/setting or consider leadership. Find an area/position in which you can impact others positively, and you will be nourished. I love my ability to impact the professional development of nurses, to be creative, and influence system changes for our patients and nursing staff.

Act as if what you do makes a difference. IT DOES! —William James
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