Award Recipient

Karen Campbell

Sigma Theta Tau International Award

I became a nurse because I wanted stable employment and a job that would be well-suited to what I really wanted to do: become a mom. I was young and saw a female-dominated profession and thought it must be easy to balance family and nursing. But as a novice nurse and first-time mommy, I soon learned that twelve hour shifts and a little baby were not a great fit for me. So instead of writing about why I became a nurse, I’ll write about why I’m still a nurse.

Although hospital nursing was exciting, I quickly learned it didn’t meet my needs. However, nursing offered a wide array of options. Public health nursing became my new passion. I work with communities to build on existing strengths and to address issues that led to poor health. Being able to focus on health and wellness to lower the need for hospitalizations and illness and address health disparities is incredibly rewarding. For me, one of the most exciting things about the profession of nursing is that it is expansive and the work is so varied. Nurses work in hospitals; it is the most common public perception. Nurses also work in communities, in schools, in jails, in pharmaceuticals, in labs, in research, in policy making, in politics, in home care, and more, from birth until death. So now I am a mother, a student, an educator, and always will be a nurse.

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