Jessica Fadayel

September 2009
Class of 2010


This I believe about nursing… “Nursing is not just changing bed linens, checking medicines and monitoring charts, it’s allowing yourself to empathize, show compassion and become a companion.”

It’s funny how one of life’s uncertainties can ultimately change a person’s future forever. If you had asked me as a child what I wanted to be when I grew up, I would have never dreamt of being a nurse. Four years ago however, fate threw me a surprise curveball and forever changed my dreams and desires. It was during that time that I realized I was meant to be a nurse - not a doctor or a lawyer or even a scientist. I knew then that my calling was to help others who were unfortunate enough to be dealt a rough hand in life. My sister was one of those people.   

My passion for nursing grew over the past few years as a result of watching my little sister, Mariam, slowing deteriorate due to polio. She was immune compromised at birth and lived everyday dealing with ailments such as skin rashes, vomiting, seizers and even pneumonia. She spent the whole first year of her life in the hospital. It was so hard watching my youngest sister, just a helpless little infant, fight for her life on a daily basis. After that year, she was allowed home care but only under twenty-four hour supervision. That meant live-in nurses who could constantly care for her.

For eight years, my house was not only filled with family and friends, but nurses who soon became like family. The time I spent with Miriam was also spent with the home nurse on duty. Eventually, I began to take interest in their field. I began to understand what it meant to truly care for others. Those women that came and went opened themselves to Miriam and showed me that nursing is not just changing bed linens, checking medicines and monitoring charts, it’s allowing yourself to empathize, show compassion and become a companion. I looked to these nurses as role models. Their selflessness seeped into my pores and I then realized that nursing was my calling.   

Finally, when I was a senior in high school and Miriam was nine, she lost her life-long battle. She may have been sent away from us prematurely but she left an everlasting impact on so many lives. Personally, she gave me determination, perseverance and compassion. She made me see that all that time spent reading to her, caring for her and laughing with her was for a reason. She brought people into my life that inspired me and opened my eyes to the world of medicinal care.   

Over the last few years, my passion has grown. I am excited to continue on this journey; to learn and share myself with others. I believe that by pursuing the nursing field I will not only benefit my community and those in need, but make my little sister and her nurses proud. They strove to help those in need and I am determined to follow in their footsteps and give whatever I can back. The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Scholarship has supported my decision by giving me the opportunity to go out and fulfill my dream, and by helping me share my story with others around the world.