GWU Hunt School of Nursing Recognizes ASN Student in Celebration of National Nurses Month

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Kristen Sullivan, ’20, Wants to Serve Others Through Career in Nursing

A banner for Nurses monthLong before the Coronavirus pandemic began, the World Health Assembly designated 2020 as the “Year of the Nurse.” The celebration is in honor of the 200th anniversary of the birth of Florence Nightingale, the founder of nursing. Further, the American Nurses Association, which traditionally observes National Nurses Week May 6-12, has expanded the recognition to the entire month of May.

The Gardner-Webb Hunt School of Nursing is celebrating the month by highlighting its students who are either working in the field while continuing their education or are preparing to begin a career in nursing.

Kristen Sullivan, ’20, of Shelby, N.C., will graduate with an Associate of Science in Nursing. Being a nurse is what she’s wanted to do for as long as she can remember. Sullivan shares more about her experience at Gardner-Webb and what nursing means to her.

Q: Why did you choose nursing as a career?

A photo of Kirsten SullivanSullivan: I have always been interested in health and anatomy/physiology. While nursing school has allowed me to learn more and more about those subjects, I am looking forward to a career that challenges me to put all that I have learned into practice. Most importantly, I want to give back to my community and be of service to others. I feel the best about myself when I am helping other people, so it’s just a bonus that I will get to do that at work.

Q: How have your nursing professors and GWU classes prepared you for the job?

Sullivan: The nursing professors have been nothing short of amazing. I feel such gratitude towards them for all of their hard work in making sure that we are prepared for the healthcare setting. They have been there for me without fail, and I know they want each and every nursing student to succeed.

Q: How have your classes changed since social distancing began?

Sullivan: We have moved to strictly online classes using Zoom. I don’t mind it, but I do miss seeing the people I have spent so much time with over the last couple of years. I am just thankful that GWU has done everything they can to make sure that we will still graduate on time. I have met some amazing people at GWU that are going to be even more amazing nurses.  I will never forget all of the hard work we have put into this, and I am excited to see what our futures hold.

Q: What have you learned about health care and in general from experiencing the pandemic?

Sullivan: I have seen extraordinary compassion for others since the pandemic began. It seems like communities come together when faced with uncertainty, and it’s so heartwarming to witness. I have also seen such appreciation for healthcare workers, and it makes me proud that I will soon be a part of this group of brave men and women.

Q: In thinking about 2020 as the Year of the Nurse and the 200th anniversary of nursing, what are your thoughts about the profession you are preparing to enter?

Sullivan: It’s so fitting that 2020 is the Year of the Nurse. With the pandemic, nurses have been discussed in the media more than ever before. It makes me excited to join the ranks of a profession that can make such a difference in people’s lives and in their experiences with medical care during such a monumental year.

Learn more about the Hunt School of Nursing.