May 15, 2014, 12:00 PM, Posted by Jing Wang
National Nurses Week just ended, but several nurses are continuing the conversation, blogging about the reasons they aspire to leadership. Jing Wang, PhD, MPH, RN, is an assistant professor at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston School of Nursing and a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) Nurse Faculty Scholar (2013-2016).
When I was a nursing student, I cared for home-bound elderly patients on a volunteer basis. Many of the patients I cared for weren’t able, or didn’t know how, to care for themselves properly. They didn’t always take their medications as they were prescribed, and they didn’t always take their chronic conditions very seriously. Often, they would wind up in the emergency room for conditions they could have managed at home.
I decided to become a professional nurse to help elderly patients take better care of themselves at home—and stay out of the hospital. I am so glad I did; I am overjoyed when my patients learn to become compliant with their medication regimens, eat right, and get the exercise they need to stay healthy.
I know I made a difference with my patients, and that knowledge motivated me to find more, and better, ways to help more patients. I wanted to effect large-scale change, to develop interventions that have the potential to help the millions of people all over the world who suffer from chronic conditions like diabetes.