By Sandra B., Clinical Nurse Specialist
Advanced Practice Nursing
From the time I was a little girl, I wanted to heal and teach. I learned about Sarah Barton and Florence Nightingale, reading every book in our local library about them. I wanted to be A NURSE! My grandmother was a nurse, heading into the nursing field after her children were grown — very unusual in the 1950s. She shared amazing stories.
I started my journey by completing an associate degree in nursing and working as a nurse while completing my Bachelor of Science in nursing. I moved on to a master’s program at the University of Utah and then completed a post-graduate program at Idaho State as a clinical nurse specialist. I am board certified as an adult clinical nurse specialist and also in advanced diabetes management. Through the years, I achieved certification as an oncology nurse, a rehab registered nurse and a licensed health care administrator as well.
My philosophy or “drive” for nursing remains the same as what I wrote in my first nursing school admission essay: “I want to be a nurse so I can bring others hope. Hope for whatever they need: care with dignity, a cure, relief, a peaceful death, a joyous birth, a productive life.”
I worked at the bedside for more than 25 years. I cherish relationships with fellow nurses — the camaraderie with my night crew — priceless! I have treasured experiences from my time in home care and infusion care. My time as a director and administrator in long-term care taught me a whole new side to Medicare and Medicaid, and about the needs of communities outside the hospital setting. Most importantly, I discovered a great, innate need to continue close connections to patients and families.
I had the opportunity to provide education on many fronts: to patients and families, nurses, nursing assistants, physicians, therapists, and others. My thirst for knowledge gave me the opportunity for involvement in research and publications. I love nursing and consider myself uniquely privileged to work with amazing professionals and with patients and families. I love nursing—this is why I am a nurse.