By Jolyn Gontis
Senior Nursing Student
Conemaugh School of Nursing
Growing up, I’ve learned that you cannot change what goes on in a person’s life, but you can make a difference in his or her time of despair and need. This is something you unquestionably have control over, and it is this that has made me choose nursing as a career.
About a year ago, I went on a mission trip to Haiti in relief of the earthquake. While I was there, I saw numerous medical tents and countless volunteers. This truly inspired me. I wanted to be able to help the unwell. Although I was unable to personally help the sick or cure anyone, I was able to make a difference. Some of the things I participated in were feeding the hungry, building a school, and teaching subsistence and self-reliance. It was absolutely heartbreaking to see the horrible living conditions. By the end of the week, I realized I wanted to be a nurse.
While contemplating my future plans I came to the realization that I want to further my education after graduation from Conemaugh School of Nursing. It is also my wish to gain experience as a nurse and to use it one day volunteering abroad helping the destitute.
By pursuing a career in nursing, I could make a difference in the world. Various bonds form when you help people who cannot help themselves; bonds of spoken and unspoken gratitude. It is a gift knowing that you have just touched a life.
Nursing is so much deeper than just helping; it’s about caring and doing the right thing. As the famous Jean Watson says, “Caring is the essence of nursing.”
Nursing is challenging yet rewarding. Not knowing what is going to happen from one day to the next or whom you will meet, or what situation you may face. At the same time, you’ll know you have job security and endless possibilities. There are various clinical environments and advancement opportunities available for student nurses.
As a beginning student nurse, I offer emotional intelligence and the ability to listen; respond and empathize with others. Sometimes, I don’t have to say a word. Just being there for my patients by listening, holding a patient’s hand, crying and laughing or supporting a family member is what is most meaningful to me. I’ve always had a burning desire to help people in need, people whose lives have been turned upside down by conflict or natural disasters. With nursing and through voluntary organizations, it is the best way for me to fulfill that desire.
Financially by receiving this scholarship, I will be able to continue my education in nursing. This award will help ease the financial pressures of school and allow me to place all my focus on academics. This scholarship will be a stepping-stone to achieve my goal of becoming a safe practicing nurse.
Jolyn Gontis, a senior nursing student at Conemaugh School of Nursing, received three scholarships for her academic achievements and involvement with Conemaugh Memorial Medical Center. Earning the highest grade point average for the 2011 graduating class of the School of Nursing, Jolyn was awarded with a $2,000 scholarship from Memorial. She also received a $3,000 scholarship sponsored by the Auxiliary of Conemaugh Memorial Medical Center. The scholarship criteria included being a current Conemaugh employee or a dependent of a current Conemaugh employee. Jolyn works on 8 Ashman as a clinical assistant. Jolyn received a $2,000 scholarship for her submission to the Pennsylvania League for Nursing state-wide essay competition. Jolyn wrote her essay about the importance and impact of nursing.