By: Matthew Padgett, MSN (Entry Into Nursing) 2020
It’s a great time to be a nurse. There is a lot of potential for career growth, we have many opportunities to collaborate with the rest of the medical community, and it’s an important space to advocate for social justice—we must achieve respectful care for everyone.
But you must know your why. That’s what will carry you through this program.
I believe that the need for genuine human interaction has never been greater. Nursing is a holistic, compassionate approach to care; to me, it’s a little window into someone’s life where I am able to connect with them authentically on a human level. As nurses, we enter a person’s life in the midst of vulnerable circumstances and we are on the front lines to meet their needs daily.
Once you know your “why,” the next question is “why Johns Hopkins?” Here are a few of my reasons.
First, there are unlimited resources and opportunities (including Johns Hopkins Hospital across the street) for us to collaborate with peers, faculty, and colleagues at other schools. Next, there are many opportunities to apply new skills across Baltimore. Then, our cohorts are diverse. Hopkins nurses come from different ethnic backgrounds, have different gender identities, and there are a lot of second-degree students, so our interests, experiences, knowledge, and strengths are very broad.
The program is fast-paced and rigorous. The clinicals are in diverse settings (including simulation, Baltimore, and surrounding areas), present different experiences, and our clinical instructors are very knowledgeable. Our classroom assignments are grounded in factors that help you develop as a nurse, and our group assignments help you become a good collaborator. You can trust that a lot of time and energy was put in to developing the curriculum; you will graduate with the skills and knowledge you need.
To make it through, you have to trust the process. Take it one day, one step at a time. And you’ll have the help of hardworking, intelligent colleagues, as well as students further along in the program—they are great resources.
Even beyond our faculty, the Johns Hopkins community is invested in your nursing education. Recently, I was in clinical rounds with nurses, physicians, cases managers, and social workers. One of the head physicians in the neurology department made a point of encouraging me to be present at the patient interview because they felt that this person was a textbook example of their disease. So many people here want to see you succeed.
Your “why” for nursing makes the difference. The support of your community helps you realize your potential as a nurse—so you can make a difference.
Matthew Padgett is a student in the MSN (Entry Into Nursing) program graduating in 2020. He earned his Bachelor’s in Nutrition and Master’s in Economics, then worked in China for six years as an educator and briefly as a consultant. In China, Matthew urged his students to connect with their community—by partnering with aging organizations and by putting together wellness, social justice, and compassion projects. His time in China strengthened his feelings of connection to the human race, and strengthened his resolve to give freely of himself for the benefit of others. For Matthew, it’s just as exciting to be part of the tapestry of Charm City as it is to study at Johns Hopkins.