Christopher G. Merriman

January 2013
Class of 2013


I believe this about nursing..."Nursing is an opportunity to journey with others in critical moments of their lives.”

It is a chance to smile, laugh, love, teach, comfort, encourage, cry, or simply be with another person in a personal and meaningful way. Nursing is the soul of healthcare. It allows patients to be truly vulnerable and open to care. I have chosen nursing because of what I believe it can do to me as a person as well as how I can change the lives of others. I believe nursing transcends racial, cultural, and other barriers and can connect people. I am becoming a nurse because I want to experience this connection with others.

My mother and sister have both been great inspirations to me as nurses. My wife, a special education teacher, showed me how beautiful it is to care for the most vulnerable and fragile members of society. As a CNA, I learned to interact with patients and their families. In college, I studied biology, learning about the wonder of the body. After college, I became a science teacher on a Navajo Indian Reservation in New Mexico. I further honed my Spanish and teaching skills, leading service trips to Mexico, and volunteering on medical missions to Ecuador. While teaching was beautiful, I knew I wanted to return to my original dream to serve in healthcare. After teaching for seven years, I am pursuing this dream once again.

Nursing school so far has been an exciting adventure of classroom, laboratory, and clinical experiences. I have already completed one third of a one year accelerated nursing program at Creighton University. Through the Robert Wood Johnson Scholarship, I have been given an amazing opportunity to enrich and complement my learning through my mentor. He has given me advice and guidance as well as connected me with shadowing opportunities that have helped me further discern where I want to go in nursing. Through this scholarship program, I have felt like I have been able to explore new areas in nursing and learn more about what I believe about nursing.

I believe nursing can give me the tools I need to experience challenges and rewards in my professional pursuits while opening a variety of pathways to myriad opportunities. I believe nursing is a great way to support my family and still have time with them. I believe that nursing is about teaching, and about leading others to discovering solutions. I believe that nursing is about advocating, which appeals to my deep-held belief that all life is sacred and that all persons have dignity. I believe that nursing is about compassion, and I think that I will enjoy the daily reminder that people are in need of loving caregivers who will go the extra mile for them. I believe that nursing is at its core about being human. It is not about being perfect, but about making a perfect effort to strive to be better all the time through helping others.