Annesley O'Neal

November 2014
Class of 2014


I believe this about nursing… “When you’re a nurse you know that every day you will touch a life or a life will touch yours.” – Author Unknown

Nursing is a career characterized by resilience, empathy, intuition, compassion, and intellect. Nurses lead with passion and purpose and have a positive impact on the lives of their patients, patient families, and loved ones every day. As a nursing professional some of the most important attributes you need to possess include being caring, sensitive, and kind. These qualities build rapport and establish trust between the nurse and patient, which is the most important component of the nurse patient relationship. Concern and empathy for others, being sensitive, and a pleasant frame of mind are virtues that not all individuals have innately. To occupy all of these attributes is extraordinary and is what makes nurses so exceptional.

These distinguishing qualities are all attributes I believe I possess and have contributed to me pursing a career in nursing. The life changing experience that prompted me to embark on such a phenomenal path was being a caregiver for my father who passed away from liver cancer unexpectedly. In December of 2012, he was diagnosed with stage four liver cancer with the prognosis of two weeks left of life. He was provided with home hospice, and I was responsible for his upkeep, medications, comfort level, and his overall emotional and physical well being. There were nurses always accessible and supporting me during this difficult period of my life. They were extremely empathetic, caring, and dedicated to my father and family. Watching my father deteriorate and having to deal with such unforeseen circumstances so quickly became my foundation and the genesis of a future transcending into the profession of nursing.

My passion for nursing is evident from the commitment of caring for my terminally ill father. This was such an eye opening experience and really provided me with the confidence that I could make a difference in the lives of others through the profession. It has by far has aided me in being a stronger individual and given me the tools to support others and their loved ones in similar situations. Undoubtedly in every single clinical session, a life has touched my heart. I hope I’ve been able to do the same for all of my patients.

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation has been pivotal in helping jumpstart my nursing career.  I’m grateful for the scholarship and the boost from advisors to pursue networking and educational opportunities. Ultimately all of these resources have motivated me to accomplish a higher degree of education. I would like to further my studies and continue to excel in skill and knowledge base in an effort to gain self-actualization. Nurse anesthesia is in my future and I plan to hone my skills by building a foundation in critical care units. This is my passion and I’m anxious for what God has in store for me.