Cecilia Gallardo

November 2009
Class of 2010


I believe this about nursing… “Having the opportunity to help people at their most vulnerable state and being able to make a difference is what makes this profession one of the most rewarding fields to be a part of.”

Both my parents and past experiences have taught me the value of hard work along with the satisfaction one can have by being a compassionate, caring and honest person.  Growing up, I watched my parents work hard to provide me, my brother and sister with opportunities that they never had.  I also watched them help and care for family members who, at times, were less fortunate.  It was through them that I began to understand the sacrifices along with the gratification one can assume when taking care of others.      

Although nursing was a career choice that I considered prior to my first degree in nutrition, I could not be more content with the path I have taken to get me where I am today.  I chose to major in nutrition after meeting my boyfriend of almost six years.  The decision came easily after spending our first summer together and witnessing the harm his diet and lack of physical activity were causing.  His occasional chest pains and continuous weight gain were my motivation to enter a profession that would allow me to help and educate people on our society’s rising health problems.  While nutrition is a wonderful profession, I knew that I wanted to seek more upon learning the responsibilities of a registered nurse during class one day.  I discovered that I desired an occupation which allowed me to be more involved with patients and not just with their diets.  As a nurse, not only will I still be able to help and educate people on society’s rising health problems, but also be more involved with patients as a whole and not just with what they consume.      

As an employee at Emeritus, an assisted living facility, and as a nursing student, I have been able to perform and understand basic nursing skills, including the emotional physical labor it takes to be a nurse.  My ability to observe and interact with other nurses allows me to understand that nursing is not only about being compassionate and caring, but also about being a competent, rational thinker that can collaborate effectively with a health care team, patients and their families.  While the job can be challenging at times, there is nothing more rewarding than realizing at the end of the day that I have made a difference.    

One day I strive to be an advocate in promoting health and preventing disease within my community and I plan to utilize my bicultural and bilingual abilities on the growing Hispanic population.  I greatly admire and appreciate the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation for giving me this wonderful opportunity so that one day I will be able to do so.  The timing could have not been more perfect when I received this scholarship. Five minutes prior to opening the letter for this scholarship, I was speaking to my sister and telling her that I was not going to be able afford the books, uniforms, PDA, etc. without working full time.  Five minutes later I could not believe my eyes, I opened a letter that truly answered my prayers and I couldn’t be more grateful. After receiving this scholarship, along with being told by complete strangers that I belong in this field, I truly have never been so sure about my decision in becoming registered nurse.