Tamryn Gray, MSN, RN, joined the PhD program after seven years as an oncology/bone marrow transplant nurse at Duke Children’s Hospital in Durham, NC. The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Future of Nursing Scholar knows the challenges of watching pediatric patients and their families wrestle with end-of-life treatment decisions. She also knows the struggles of nurses to be a part of that process, to provide care, and to show empathy day after day without eventually burning out.
But Gray, who grew up in the small town of Graham, NC, says working on the edge of life and death can be as rewarding as it can be difficult. “It takes a unique person to do any job in nursing,” she says. “For me, these patients [and the challenges they face] inspire me rather than scare me away.”