Cierra Thurman

May 2015
Class of 2016


I believe this about nursing …“It gives ordinary people the opportunity to be a proponent for every patient especially those who may fall through the cracks of the health care system.” 

I have learned how important it is to be an advocate for my patients. Nurses see patients at their most vulnerable times in their lives. As an advocate, nurses can improve the outcomes of their patient’s illness. I had my first asthma attack at seven years old and it was the scariest moment of my life.  In that moment I thought I was going to die, I had never felt so helpless. That first experience with the power of asthma set the stage for my career ambitions of becoming a pediatric allergist.  I want to be a nurse because it will allow me to have more personal and influential relationships with my patients.
As a child, I remember the nurses who helped teach me how to use my medications and know when I was having an attack. A nurse explained what each of my many medications treated and how receiving immunotherapy would decrease my symptoms.  Throughout my medical care, I made the most personal connections with the nurses because they were there to walk me through each phase of my treatment. In my care, I always felt comfortable asking the nurse my questions because I knew they would listen and could explain things at my level.

Receiving the Robert Wood Johnson Scholarship has given me the financial stability to focus solely on my education. The scholarship has also allowed me to volunteer at the Will-Grundy medical clinic in Joliet, IL instead of working to pay for my education. The scholarship has given me the opportunity to enhance my leadership capabilities.  As a practicing nurse, I want to continue to volunteer at free clinics that help meet the needs of under served and diverse populations.