Crystal Lynn James

June 2011
Class of 2011


I believe this about nursing… “It is not just a job about caring.” 


Yes! It sounds extremely strange to say; but I realize that caring is just one piece to this beautifully, intricate and fascinating role. 

Nurses are educators, leaders, counselors, promoters, collaborators, and advocates.  When I started nursing school I was shocked by the many responsibilities that a nurse has to undertake. I wondered how I could make such an important impact in less than half a day.  That is when I realized it also takes compassion, drive, patience and understanding to be a nurse.

A nurse with compassion will approach the health-care for each patient with the same goal and intensity.  They will not act in bias or indifference to a certain person or group because of pre-existing beliefs and values.  Instead, a nurse is able to view each patient as a dignified being who deserves the same respect and care; such as child versus an elderly patient or a mother versus a convicted felon.
A nurse with drive is able to approach challenges with 110% energy because of the knowledge that the patient and their family are depending on them.  I’ve been told that a nurse cannot have a bad day.  “Impossible!” is what many would say about this task; but it simply means that nurses must approach each work-day as a blessed opportunity to positively impact a person’s life despite one’s own personal strife.

Nurses possess and exhibit patience and calmness in the most hectic, chaotic and frustrating situations.  This arduous task is possible because of their mastery in controlling their inner impulse.  Also, they perfect the technique of active listening which becomes one of their most powerful tools in healing, assessing and intervening.

And lastly, I have learned that nurses have this immense understanding of what defines a person and their health.  Nurses’ educational background enables them to view the patient holistically and assess their social, psychological, physical, emotional and spiritual health.  Without this perspective, the patients’ and communities’ needs would be partially met and complete health care would never be accomplished.

I am pursuing nursing because my love for psychological health can be combined with the extraordinary work of a nurse.  Mentoring high school students, tutoring incarcerated youths and working with abused children shaped my interest in caring and being a positive role model.  As a nurse, I plan to positively impact the psychological and physical health in my community.
I am blessed and grateful for the recognition from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation- New Career in Nursing Scholarship because it provided me with support, motivation, and insight of my strength and potential to be a nurse and a leader!  This journey through nursing school has stimulated feelings of fear and excitement, but I continue to learn and parallel myself with being passionate, driven, patient and understanding.  And because of the RJFW mentoring program, I have an increased determination to be a leader and mentor within the nursing profession in my community, and for other nurses and students.