Kevin Harrison

September 2011
Class of 2012


I believe this about nursing..."Nursing is about giving “second” chances."

In the midst of completing my prerequisites for nursing school in the fall of 2010, my son Jett was born with various complications; low temperature and a skin disorder were the first concerns noted. He was quickly sent to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), where he spent four days being treated there before being emergency transported to Baltimore where pediatric surgeons could diagnose and treat another condition he was suffering from—Hirschsprung’s disease. A NICU nurse, simply doing her job, observed that Jett’s abdomen was greatly distended. He was very irritable and seemed protective of any contact with his belly. She noted that he had not stooled for some time and was not eating well. She brought this to the attention of the neonatologist and it was decided that Jett would need to see a pediatric surgeon to undergo extra tests that would yield a diagnosis and allow for proper treatment to take place for the Hirschsprung’s disease. Following a successful operation, healing began and he was finally discharged to go home on his fourteenth day to be with his family.

These kinds of experiences were not supposed to happen to us, or so we thought. Those two weeks were difficult ones for our family where great anxiety and fear over the potential outcomes for our baby were frequent. We were scared and stressed out. Nothing else mattered except for the preservation of our baby’s life and his recovery to full health. The outcome would have been different had that NICU nurse not done her duty. Thanks to her and many other nurses who would follow in caring for our newborn, our son was given a second chance at life. We are so grateful for their service. Day and night we sat alongside our baby’s NICU bed and watched them perform the duties of their job that were so necessary for his survival. To us, they were not only nurses, but angels through which God was able to bless and eventually heal him. They were a source of comfort to my wife and me as well and we looked forward to our interaction with them every day. I know that they were instruments in God’s hands in the positive outcome for our family. They did not do it for glory. They were simply doing what nurses do.

Nursing is just that. It is about making a difference in the lives of patients and their families. It is about helping people. I have found that I am most happy when I am engaged in the service of others.
That experience confirmed to me that the decision to pursue a career change to nursing was the correct one. As a NCIN scholarship recipient, I am grateful for the assistance that will alleviate some of the financial pressures as I pursue that goal. I look forward to the day when I will provide similar service in the capacity of registered nurse and be able to give someone else a “second” chance.