Pantelis Skulikidis

November 2013
Class of 2014


I believe this about nursing... "Nursing is about passion and commitment to ensuring that quality and effective care is being provided."
The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s main purpose is to improve health care in our country.  Making sure problems are heard and resolved, making sure every American is living a healthier life, and most of all ensuring quality and effective care is being provided.  As a current nursing student at Drexel University, I brought that same passion and commitment with me when I decided to make the career change to the nursing profession.

Before I decided to make the career change to nursing, I was teaching second and third grade special education in Long Island, NY.  I was at a great school and I loved the kids I was working with.  I saw myself getting my own classroom at some point but there was something holding me back from fully committing myself to my teaching profession.  I worked a second full time job at a home with adults with mental disabilities.  Trying to make a difference in their lives every day I worked there was fulfilling for me.  Whenever I took them on their medical appointments, I was their advocate.  I had to be their voice of reason and concern about every aspect of their lives.  I spoke to the health care physicians regarding their medications and daily activities.  My first priority was to ensure their safety and well-being.  I was a big part of their lives and they were of mine.  Ten years was a long time and saying goodbye to them when I left for Drexel was one of the hardest things I ever had to go through. 

My work experiences helped inspire me to want to do more with my professional career.  I knew I wanted to help people.  I wanted to make a difference in people’s lives.  I loved teaching because seeing a child/student’s face when he/she was able to complete an assignment on their own because of my instruction put a big smile on my face. Spending holiday times with my patients when they weren’t able to see their families and knowing how much that meant to them was very much gratifying.  The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation wants to improve health care.  I want to become a nurse who will exemplify the characteristics necessary in carrying out their goal and vision.  There is so much I am learning in school right now but there is much more to learn in order to be an effective nursing professional.  I am honored to receive the Robert Wood Johnson Scholarship because of what they stand for.