Shera Thompson

June 2010
Class of 2011


I believe this about nursing… “Personal fulfillment comes from helping others. Nursing as a career is an expression of this belief.” 

My interest in nursing started with my favorite high school chemistry teacher who taught me that science in practice is fun and rewarding.  I continued to pursue my love for science through college and completed my undergraduate degree in biomedical science.  I spent the year following graduation searching for a career that satisfied my academic interest in science while fulfilling my personal desire to help others.  Originally, I had considered a doctorate of pharmacy but after job shadowing a pharmacist at Beaumont Hospital, I realized that I desired a career that would allow me to interact with the patients more.  I found the level of patient interaction that I craved while watching the nurses in the pediatric oncology department at Beaumont Hospital.  I was excited by the opportunity and ability to build sustainable relationships with their patients.  I also became aware of the fact that my love for children and helping others would definitely be expressed through the nursing profession.

Another influence in my life was a good friend of mine, Ryan Swanson, who in his early twenties was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma.  He changed my perspective on life.  I had to watch him go from a carefree guy who lived in the present to someone whose only hope was to have a future.  Seeing Ryan's strength and courage to fight cancer while being constantly sick from chemotherapy reminded me how much I wanted to be able to help people fight and provide them with great health care.  Ryan often talked about his interactions with his health care providers and consistently commented on the coldness of his physicians and raved about the excellent care from the nurses.  This increased my appreciation for the field of nursing.  I see nursing as a career that has an immediate impact on the health of our heterogeneous nation.  Nurses, who are often the key patient contact, must deliver services that respect the uniqueness and differences of the patients needs.  Having grown up in a culturally diverse household with my father being Jamaican and my mother being American, I have personally experienced America's cultural landscape, and share the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s desire to improve the quality of American communities.  While I realize that nursing will constantly challenge me with difficult situations, I'm confident that I will be able to embrace this challenge, knowing that I can contribute to families getting the best treatment possible.