A conversation with FNSNA scholarship winner, Jacqueline Santos
Jacqueline Santos, a junior at University of Connecticut (UConn) School of Nursing, is a 2016 recipient of the Foundation of the National Student Nurses Association (FNSNA) Foundation of the National Student Nurses Association (FNSNA) scholarship sponsored by 3M Littmann Stethoscopes. We recently caught up with Jacqueline to learn what inspires tomorrow’s nurses to enter the field.
“Honestly, I thought I wanted to be a journalist until about sophomore year of high school,” Jacqueline laughs, reminiscing. “But then I found myself getting more excited about my science courses – the human body, how it functions normally, and how disease affects that.”
Of all the medical professions to choose from, Jacqueline chose nursing. “Nurses are the ones who are always there. They consistently assess and monitor to pick up changes. They are advocates for patients, educating them and generally supporting them.”
Jacqueline is making the most of her time in school, getting involved with the UConn chapter of the National Student Nurses Association (NSNA). She’s currently serving as chapter president and was just re-elected president for her senior year.
The association gives Jacqueline the opportunity to flex her leadership skills, while also getting out into the community to volunteer. One local clinic, in particular, gives UConn NSNA members experience outside the classroom.
“We’re able to provide basic primary care to the clinic’s underserved population. It’s great experience working as an interdisciplinary team.”
Even with her passion and strong dedication to her career path, Jacqueline acknowledges nursing school is rigorous. She finds it can be stressful to participate in clinical rotations, achieve good grades, and carry the financial burden of college, something the FNSNA Littmann Stethoscopes scholarship has helped alleviate.
3M Littmann Stethoscopes strongly believes in supporting current and future nurses, like Jacqueline. That’s why we’re funding a new FNSNA leadership grant to help foster the development of leadership skills in nursing students. Through our grant, 3M Littmann Stethoscopes will help cultivate the nursing leadership skills needed to accelerate positive enhancements in the future of healthcare. Winners of this year’s scholarship will be recognized at the NSNA National Convention on April 5, 2017. Nursing program faculty advisors can start applying for the 2018 3M Littmann Stethoscopes Leadership Grant online starting September 2017.
Getting back to our conversation with Jacqueline, she offered up some sage advice for other aspiring nurses: “Stick with it. If you know you’re interested in it and you know it’s what you want to do, stick with it. The beginning of your education is so important – it builds a strong foundation of knowledge before building the rest of the house on top. Also, utilize all the resources around you, most importantly your teachers and clinical instructors. And when you’re in clinicals, make the most of that time. Ask questions, interact with patients. It’s so much about practice and building your skills. The whole process is worth it.”
As for a specialty, Jacqueline is considering pediatric nursing. “I couldn’t think of a population better deserving of health. Working with children would be the most rewarding because nursing a sick child back to health would be, in a way, like giving them their future back.”
As Jacqueline looks to the future, she’s excited about two things. First and foremost, helping people. She plans on practicing in Connecticut, which will allow her to give back to the community in which she grew up. The second involves her stethoscope of choice, “When I started nursing school, I always envisioned myself with a Littmann Stethoscope around my neck. I’m now the proud owner of a Littmann Classic III in turquoise.”
Beyond her choice of stethoscope, Jacqueline’s dedication and enthusiasm makes the future of nursing look incredibly bright.