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Straight Talk
A weekly update from management on the issues that matter most.

Aug 24, 2017
“No one ever became poor by giving,” from the play Diary of Anne Frank captures the spirit of six NCH donors who together gave $55,700 dollars in scholarships to thirty-eight nurses, radiology technologists, unit secretaries, transporters, and patient safety techs. Representative comments from four beneficiaries (lightly modified) are below:

I came to America from Serbia when I was twenty where I was a technician in a phlebotomy lab.  I always wanted to be a nurse.  Currently, I’m a bedside nurse working towards completing my Bachelor’s Degree in nursing.  I provide one-on-one education that is very valuable, educating patients on the importance of complying with their therapies and understanding the disease process can make a significant difference in their outcomes.  However, at this point in my career, I recognize the need to educate on a much larger scale—community education.  As a neuroscience nurse, I recognize the importance of educating the community in the early detection of stroke symptoms.  I recognize that without a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing, it would be more difficult to get fully vested in offering education and support to stroke victims and their families on a broader community level. 

I began as a tech through the Lorenzo Walker program and have worked my way into the ER where I want to continue my career as a nurse.  Starting on 4 East, I quickly demonstrated my competence, and I believe my coworkers will echo that statement.  Previously, I was a 2nd Class officer in the Coast Guard.  Altruism is deeply rooted into who I am as a person.  It is part of my personal mission statement.  Once I chose nursing school, I took a large pay cut to work as a tech.  While I’m eternally grateful for the experience, it does come with financial woes.  Being awarded a scholarship allows me to mentally check out from the burdens of a low-wage career and focus on my final semester.  My goal is to finish strong and transition into a competent and effective nurse. 

Why did I choose to be a nurse?  I could feed you a bunch of gibberish or the “right answer” but reality is I had no idea until four years ago when I was sitting in the ICU as a family member.  My mom was very sick, very close to death, and I was very, very lost.  I was twenty-seven, working in a walk-in clinic just trying to get by with my life with my husband and my girls.  I had an experience with a nurse I will always remember.  His name was Sagi Paz.  He was my mother’s nurse on the very same day that I decided definitively I was going back to school to become a nurse who cared about my patients just like he did.  Mom wasn’t just a patient to him, she was a real person.  As I walked into the room that fateful day, he turned and looked at me and said, “Hi, you must be Ashley.  I’m Sagi.  I’ve been your mom’s nurse.”  To say I was caught off guard is an understatement.  When he left the room, I looked at my mom and said, “I’m going to be like him.  I’m going back to school, and I’m going to take care of my patients the same way he has taken care of you today.”  I’ve become a better role model for my girls who both now want to become nurses like their mom, and I found my calling for helping people in the world around me.

Being a nurse is very personal to me.  Nine years ago I was delivering our second son at the NCH Birth Place and experienced the most wonderful care from an exceptional nurse.  She was kind, confident, and made me comfortable by educating me with knowledge she was passionate about.  That was the start.  I enrolled in what was Edison and now Florida Southwestern, hired by NCH, became a charge nurse and mentor.  Two years later I transferred to Oncology which started a fire in me to pursue a higher level of education—a BSN.  It has been said in life to find your purpose, you must find your passion.  My passion continued to grow by caring for oncology patients and their families.  A family member experienced cancer that has only continued to grow my purpose.  Three years ago with the help of my family—now four children and husband who works out of town half the month—I decided to become a nurse-practitioner.  I have one giant balancing act which is aided greatly by the scholarship support. 

These are wonderful connections of generous and altruistic contributors to hard-working and ambitious colleagues—all perfect examples of gifts changing the lives of care givers who, in turn, will help others live longer, happier, and healthier lives.


Allen Weiss, MD

President and CEO

You may contact Dr. Allen Weiss and The NCH Healthcare System by clicking here.