Teresa Wright

November 2010
Class of 2011


I believe this about nursing… “Nurses dispense health, hope and self-respect, as well as doses of care and compassion.”

Lillian Carter grabbed a piece of my heart decades ago when I fixated on pictures of her holding children while working as a Peace Corps nurse.  I was mesmerized by her devotion to her work, all while she advanced in age.  I burned those images in my mind knowing that someday, somehow, I would follow in Ms. Carter’s work.  Today when I walk into a patient’s room and introduce myself as a student nurse, my patients look at my gray hair and compute in their mind how old I might be.   At 54 years, I’m one of the older students in my class of 30 at the Fay Whitney School of Nursing at the University of Wyoming. 
Yet my education and experience have uniquely prepared me to now pursue nursing as a career choice.  As an undergraduate, I obtained degrees in biology and biochemistry. I was continually animated by the subtle design and execution of experiments, the confidence scientific inquiry places on human reason and the generalizations in which the world is viewed not only as objects, but as classes, laws and relations.  Past laboratory research, teaching, administrative / management experience and international work in public health promotion and behavior deepened my interests in the fields of maternal and child health, nutrition, communicable disease, substance prevention, healthy aging and the wider application of science and social issues.  I began to concentrate on the complex array of services that constitute public health, completing my Masters of Public Health with an emphasis in health education and service.  I always considered myself best as a teacher.  One day it dawned on me that nurses too, are educators.
Nursing complements who I am and what I believe.  I like that nursing as a profession wholeheartedly supports that everyone deserves a chance at a healthy life regardless of religion, nationality, race, gender, economics or age. As nurses, we dispense health, hope and self-respect, as well as doses of care and compassion.  To the extent that nursing can reflect society’s continual health concerns, so should it be an instrument of change.  I strongly believe, like President Carter and his mother, that a society should deliver to individuals the Aristotelian idea of summum bonum, the essence of the good life.  This includes the basic, simple rights of health, education, dignity and justice.  Of particular interest to me is the issue of health for it is a necessary prerequisite for economic and social advance.  Heraclitus said, “When health is absent, wisdom cannot become manifest, strength cannot fight, wealth becomes useless and intelligence cannot be applied.” 
I have a strong interest in and concern for others. I’m a compassionate person who believes my opportunity to contribute to improving society can best be accomplished by combining my public health training with a career in nursing. My future as a nurse holds numerous service possibilities.  That is why I will complement my public health background with clinical experience which leads toward social improvements that catalyze future change.  I look forward to being a nurse.  
Teresa Wright resides in Steamboat Springs, CO with her three children:  Daniel, 19, Natalie, 17 & Olivia, 14.