Jacob Fountain

March 2013
Class of 2014


 “I Believe this about nursing….” Nursing is the ultimate culmination of art and science. 

“One turns to me his appealing eyes—poor boy! I never knew you,
Yet I think I could not refuse this moment to die for you, if that would save you.”

-Walt Whitman, from The Wound-Dresser

As nurses, we must be diligent students, learning the manifestations of disease and how to treat their effects on the body, while simultaneously comforting our patient, and judiciously advocating on their behalf. Nursing blends together seemly diverse areas, the extremely technical psychomotor tasks with the art of quick complex clinical judgment. I believe that nurses must strive to be the most competent, sound and greatest clinicians they can be, not for their own personal gain, but because they want to provide the greatest level of care for their patients.

Walt Whitman served as a nurse during the Civil War, and his quote reveals the great empathy he had for the young soldiers he cared for. This empathy for our patients is one of nursing’s greatest strengths, and most taxing elements. We try to do everything in our power to help our patients, while balancing our own lives and responsibilities. Nurses are inextricably linked to our patients in a complex caregiver relationship, where we try to support our clients and their families, while still maintaining our professional demeanor and composure. I believe the values of a great nurse are compassion, diligence, integrity and selfless service. We are compelled to be a pillar of strength for all of our patients, from the elderly man who realizes he has a terminal cancer, to the Vietnam veteran still trapped within the prison of his own mind.

Nursing is the perfect venue for me to continue my own service to others. As a soldier I felt compassion for fellow service members regardless of personal differences, just as a nurse cares for their patients without hesitation. This dedication to others by service was an important value stressed to me throughout my time in the military and will continue to be a guiding principle in my nursing career. The Robert Wood Johnson Scholarship has given me tangible proof that I made the correct decision to pursue nursing and that people beyond my small network of friends and family are willing to invest in my future.