The viper sounds, it's only been 15 minutes since she laid her head on the stretcher. Open her eyes, she knows they need it. Walking down the long, cold corridor, thinking about how it happened, why she is there at 3 a.m., exhausted and still awake for what promises to be a long night in emergencies. That is the life of a nurse.
Barry University is celebrating 65 years of nursing education, a long history of preparing compassionate professionals committed to making a difference in our global society.
Throughout history, nurses have been and still are the quietest heroes working behind the scenes, from saving lives at the frontlines during wartime to granting dignity to an elderly man in his last years.
According to Barry´s website, the program was founded in 1953, when only fewer than 5 percent of females achieved college degrees. Today, the College of Nursing and Health Sciences features nationally recognized and diverse programs; Accredited Schools Online stated that in 2017 the College was ranked No. 26 in the country.
¨I think that the characteristics of a Barry nurse can be best described on how motivated and curious they are; our students think critically, they want to keep learning, they are not hesitant to ask questions and to participate, they are very good communicators. But overall, Barry nurses have leadership and compassion,” said Dr. Maria Colvin, the program director for undergraduate nursing education.
Colvin was honored as one of the "Great 100 Nurses” at the centennial celebration of the Florida Nurses Association. For her, being a nurse is in some way a vocation, one must really want to help people and be passionate about it.
Colvin became a nurse 20 years ago because the desire to aid others was a privilege for her. Now, as the program director, she is still helping.
Colvin feels that students are her patients, too. By teaching them to become good ethical nurses, she is contributing to the world we live in. A world that is constantly changing, a world that has a great need for more people with education and compassion.
The program maintains a holistic approach toward the nurses’ education.
Students learn to put the patient at the center.
“To be a nurse you must put the work in, you can´t pursue nursing for a paycheck; although it is important, but it will not sustain you in career like this one, it is very intense,” said Colvin.
Arelys Ramirez, a 23-year-old senior awarded with the prestigious scholarship of the Baptist Bond Program, asserts that Barry´s education fulfil the values of ¨truth and knowledge¨ that go hand-in-hand with the nursing concept.
¨I am very honored to be a Barry student because in the hospital setting when I am asked where I go to school, most people have responded positively by saying ‘Oh, Barry’s nursing program is great!’ It makes me happy and proud that our school has such a great reputation in the medical community," said Ramirez, who was born in Miami and is of Cuban heritage.
Since high school, she has been passionate about assisting in the medical field. When her grandmother was diagnosed with a diabetic condition, Ramirez took it upon herself. Engaging in every step of the process, she realized that by caring about someone, one can make a huge difference in the person´s life. It was then that she decided to become a nurse.
The nursing profession requires commitment, compassion and a strong desire to help others. Junior Jaletha Hield is an example of that.
“What they teach us here at the program is that nursing is both an art and a science,” she said. “The art to treat people, to comfort them; we learn how to think critically in each situation applying scientific solutions.”
Hield decided to study nursing due to her curiosity for the human body, but – like many Barry nurses - because of her aspiration to become an agent of change, someone with the necessary skills to make a difference.