During Nurses Week 2020, VCU School of Nursing shared each day why students love being a part of the most trusted profession on earth. Although Nurses Week has passed, we still have another great story to share. Meet Jeannette Kim, a current student in our master’s program, nursing administration and leadership concentration. Jeannette is a senior clinical research nurse and clinical educator at the National Institutes of Health Clinical Center, where she works on an ambulatory medical/surgical unit which sees a variety of different rare and incurable disease conditions, ranging anywhere from infectious disease conditions to rheumatology.  She also serves as a U.S. Public Health Service Officer. 

Q. What do you enjoy most about being a nurse? 

A. My greatest joy in being a nurse is the ability to help others, especially those who are unable to help themselves due to their current situations. I truly believe in giving back and using what I have been taught to provide even the slightest bit of comfort to others. 

Q. Why are you pursuing your master’s in nursing administration and leadership? 

A. I’m pursuing a master’s in VCU’s NAL concentration because I want to be an efficient nurse leader and develop the skill set to become a well-rounded leader. I believe that the NAL concentration will be monumental in my quest to become a great nurse leader. I am halfway through the program and I can tell you that I have already learned so much. I am looking forward to what the next semesters have in store for me.

Q. How is your VCU School of Nursing education preparing you for your work as a nurse, particularly in situations such as the COVID-19 pandemic? 

A. The courses I have taken thus far in the NAL program have taught me a tremendous amount about organizational structure and culture, as well as leadership skills. As a USPHS officer, I have had the experience of deploying to Washington state to assist with the COVID-19 outbreak. I have also had the experience of currently serving with my fellow NIH USPHS officers in a deployment to screen all persons entering the NIH Clinical Center, in an effort to reduce transmission and treat those who are possibly infected. In both roles in the USPHS and the Clinical Center, I have been able to apply what I have learned in my courses to collaborate efficiently with my teams and to exemplify leadership. 

Q. Can you share any words of encouragement or advice to current and future nurses? 

A. Nursing is a hard career – it can be physically, mentally, and emotionally taxing. However, it is one of the most rewarding careers out there. On your difficult days, just remember why you became a nurse. We truly have the ability to change lives. Not only do we have the opportunity to connect with others, we also have so many different options in our career path. The world of nursing is endless; it is filled with so many different specialties and avenues. Just follow your heart and you will not regret it! 

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