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Jesse Kennedy, President of the National Student Nurses’ Association (NSNA) and student nurse at Lane Community College in Eugene, Ore.

May 2013

Q. When did you decide to pursue a career in nursing and why?

A. I first knew I wanted to be in healthcare when I participated in a fundraiser for the Children’s Miracle Network and had the opportunity to hold a premature infant in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). I was amazed at the ability of the nurses and doctors to keep infants in the NICU alive. At that moment, I knew that I wanted to help people live longer, healthier lives.

Q. As the elected 2013-2014 NSNA President, what are you most looking forward to?

A. As president, I hope to energize and empower NSNA students to make a difference in their individual communities by ensuring that they have access to the resources of the NSNA and its partners. I am extremely passionate about advocating for my fellow student nurses, nurses and patients through the education of legislation and policy matters. By making NSNA more visible on the national scene and ensuring that the voice of students is heard, I hope to secure a prominent place for student nurses and nurses in the new community-based healthcare model that will continue to develop.

Q. What advice can you give to prospective student nurses?

A. Keep a calendar and stay organized. Above all, remember everyone is human – don’t be afraid to ask questions. Always follow your instincts and voice your concerns because by speaking up, you might save lives and change policy for the better.

Q. What do you believe is the most important attribute of an Amazing Nurse?

A. The most important attribute of a nurse is honesty tempered with tact. A good nurse is honest yet gentle when giving difficult news or advice – and honest yet fair when hard choices must be made.

Q. Where do you see yourself in 10 years from now in your nursing career?

A. I would love to become a family nurse practitioner and ultimately operate a wellness clinic that incorporates many health disciplines and focuses on preventative and maintenance care. I also hope to continue as a nurse leader, inspiring and advocating for my colleagues in every avenue I can. I know that there is much that we can learn and share with our global neighbors, and I hope to one day be a part of that global sharing of healthcare knowledge.

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