Natasha Leland

March 2011
Class of 2011


I believe this about nursing… “Nursing is beautiful.

When I decided to make a career change, I wasn’t sure what that was going to be. I knew I had an interest in health care and helping people, but I didn’t know what that would translate into. I researched and decided to go into nursing and began my prerequisites in July of 2009. 18 months later I was beginning my Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree at Samuel Merritt University. I never thought I would make it into my number-one-choice program immediately and never thought I would be selected to receive a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation scholarship. So many things have happened that I could never have imagined simply through hard work, belief in myself, support of my family and support from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation scholarship committee. I feel so blessed and am so grateful for not only the financial support they have granted me, but for the support committee that organized my pre-immersion program.

I now know why I want to become a nurse and know with absolution, that this is the career for me. So far in my program, I have had the opportunity to begin clinical work at a skilled nursing facility and at a major local hospital. I am in the third month of my accelerated nursing program and I care for patients 24 hours per week and prepare documentation on their care prior to and after my weekly clinical experience. I love the work so far. I love being the person in charge of managing (well, pseudo-managing) my patients’ care and knowing that I have some influence on their experience in the hospital. I learn more and more each week about the meaning of what I am observing and what I am reading in their lab reports and nurses notes.

I believe that nursing has a foundation in scientific knowledge and builds with every day, with every patient in the hospital, clinic or living room. Nursing is knowing what to do, what to say, what to teach and when. Nursing is being the best person you know how to be every time you introduce yourself to a patient. Nursing is loving each moment, even when you don’t, because it’s all a part of the bigger picture of patient care and just…simply…caring. Nursing is beautiful.

  *Update Listen to Natasha describe how she made the journey from opera singer to nurse!