Today Magazine Spring 2021 - Page 5

HEROES

Nursing with Mercy

By : Meghan Orsino

Before Nia Andrews ' 19 found her calling as a nurse , she earned her degree in cell and molecular biology with an original goal of doing research or continuing on to medical school . After she graduated , she discovered that she wanted a more hands-on career to make a difference in health care .

“ When I started digging in and doing some more research , I noticed that it was really the nurses who had more of that patient care interaction that I was looking for , that really healed the patient ' s soul almost .” Nia recalls . “ The nurse goes in and has those interactions and those moments with the patient to truly just try and make them better on a physical standpoint , but also on a spiritual standpoint . And that was what I was always looking for .”
Her new-found realization brought her to GMercyU ’ s ABSN program , where she earned her BSN in less than two years . While at GMercyU , Nia found mentors in her nursing professors that extended outside of the classroom and also participated in the annual Domincan Republic Nursing mission trip .
After she completed her second degree , she faced a health care system battling COVID-19 . Working in the Emergency Room at Virtua Health has had its ups and downs , but Nia has stayed positive .
“ I can honestly say that I had a wonderful support system through my coworkers , my family , my friends , and some of my GMercyU professors ,” said Nia . “ Professor Tucker and Professor Warnick reached out a couple of times and we ' ve had some communication and they again were just a guiding light that helped me continue to believe in myself as well as offered some advice to continue to be a competent nurse .”
It wasn ’ t easy . Nia wrapped up her resident orientation phase for her new nursing role in March 2020 , at the peak of the pandemic . On top of being a new nurse , Nia has to adapt to the constantly shifting landscape of an ER flooded with COVID-19 patients . But Nia adapted , and soon , she became more confident making recommendations to doctors , explaining diagnoses to patients , and making critical decisions .
“ I believe that GMercyU and the professors that I had during my time here heavily influenced my life and helped aid me into being a critical thinker that I needed to be during this pandemic ,” said Nia . “ And I didn ' t think that when I was sitting in the classroom , that I was
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