Sandi Lynn Noriega

December 2010
Class of 2012


I believe this about nursing… “It is not only for the ill”.

When I first thought about becoming a nurse, I was in a careers class at Kent State University. I was on track to becoming a physical therapist and the class was mandatory for all students in my program. There were several people who came in and speak about their chosen careers, but the one person who sparked my interest was a Certified Nurse Midwife. While she described what she did for a living and why she got into the nursing and midwifery field, everything she said seemed to resonate with me and my beliefs. Pregnancy is not a disease and having a baby is not (usually) a crisis. Of course, there are always exceptions to this, but a lot of pregnancies are relatively uneventful. This made me reconsider a lot of things; like what is a nurse?
Nursing has been about comfort and care, but it has usually been when people are sick or dying. Why is it just for them and can ‘normal’ people benefit from the assistance of a nurse? I believe that everyone can gain something from it. Part of being healthy is prevention of disease, and nurses can help everyone with that through education about disease and transmission of diseases. It has been said that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. If you think about the American society and how our medical care is set up right now, medical care is not about prevention, but more about reactions to preventable medical problems. If people started maintaining healthier habits and stopped many of the preventable afflictions, then there would be a lesser demand on the health care infrastructure and nurses in particular.  Although it would be difficult, it is not impossible to change one’s habits; however it may take some effort regarding the education of the general public.
One of my personal goals is to help women see that birth doesn’t have to be in a hospital because pregnancy is not a disease. It is a naturally occurring life event-- something to be celebrated, not feared. I think it is because of that fear many women are being talked into giving birth at hospitals, and because of the fear of pain, they are being coerced into having an epidural, Pitocin, and the elective Cesarean sections. While these medical interventions can be life-saving, too many are unnecessary and they can actually cause more problems and risks. I believe that nurses can change the public’s views on many things, and I hope that I can positively impact the lives of people that I care for as a nurse. With Kent State University’s Accelerated Nursing program, I have been given the opportunity to pursue my goal and The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation New Careers in Nursing scholarship has made it even more possible.