Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing student, Selena Tsang-Nguyen, talked with us about her experiences being a nursing student at GW, the COVID pandemic, and her number one advice for future students.
I chose to pursue a second degree in nursing because I have always been inspired and grateful for the work they do serving others. Nurses are the point of contact for patients and families and they are the ones forming relationships while utilizing their knowledge and skills to cater personalized care for each individual. Nurses constantly advocate for their patients and I have seen them fight to ensure their safety and well-being in all aspects. I want to become part of a profession that prides itself on caring selflessly for others and focuses on developing the proper education and skills to physically, mentally, and emotionally help others.
I chose GW because I had heard of their rigorous curriculum and focus on hands-on experiences through the innovative simulation lab, as well as through their partnerships with local hospitals and institutions in the DMV area. I wanted to attend an institution that places value on all the life experiences I have had and not just a focus on my GPA.
Nursing to me requires a component of empathy and sometimes it can become overwhelming when you make yourself available to others all the time. Sometimes patients may not appreciate the work you’re doing but it’s helpful to remind yourself that they are experiencing a vulnerable moment in their lives and they may be in pain and discomfort and their feelings are not meant to be malicious in any way. Through this program and the beautiful friendships I have made here, I have learned that it is especially important to take time to yourself and participate in activities that make you happy. It’s okay to be a little selfish at times, especially when it will make you a better caregiver and caretaker during those rough moments.
Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, I have been asked, “how does this change your passion for nursing, does it make you want to quit?” My answer is no, it actually fuels my passion even more. I look at the effects of this pandemic and I yearn to help in any way I can - through patient care, through education of safety measures and precautions, etc. I have actually been even more excited to be able to join the frontlines and offer my services to the hardworking and overwhelmed healthcare professionals that are putting their lives on the line now.
If you’re looking into becoming a nurse, my advice to you is: It’s going to challenge you in ways you didn’t think of but you’ll be rewarded with so much love and knowledge in the end. If this is your passion, keep working hard for yourself and for others.