What I wish I could tell my nursing Professors

Sometimes I feel like my professors forgot where they came from. Becoming a nurse is not easy and I feel they forget that. I wish they knew how much of an impact they make on our nursing studies. I wish they knew that I can feel they are bothered by my questions. I wish they knew that I can tell when they are being moody. I wish they would let me finish asking my question or let me finish answering and responding to something instead of interrupting me all the time. I wish they knew how much time and effort I put into my assignments and how much I sacrifice to stay in the position I am—maybe they would actually read my entire paper instead of immediately failing me and telling me that I have to do it again based on the 2% that they viewed. I wish they would stop saying that they encourage questions and not to hesitate to ask them but make me feel stupid for asking them each time that I do. I wish they knew how it makes me feel and how it hinders my learning opportunities and college experience.

I admire all nurses. Especially my own Professors. I listen to them lecture and I think to myself, “how in the world do they remember all of that from the top of there head ?”. I think it’s amazing how they can explain thoroughly, each body system and each of the organs function, and pathophysiology, pharmacology, epidemiology, metabolic reactions , etc. All from the top of there head. It completely fascinates me. I want to know as much as they do. They inspire me. I look up to them and highly respect them. I really do. Sometimes I feel though, like they forgot where they came from and that they too, used to be a beginner nursing student. The things they say sometimes are super passive aggressive and it makes me feel dumb and like a complete nuisance. I beat myself up when I feel like I should know better and it lowers my self esteem when they tell me things like , “ you did horrible on your paper”, or, “ again, I believed we discussed this already. Do you not recall us discussing this already ?”. Like, obviously I do ! I do not have dementia or amnesia or suffering from any type of memory deficit—I just wanted clarification and/or reassurance! I am simply the type of student that is not afraid to ask questions. I can’t remain with doubts. I can’t afford it. Every move I make right now is crucial for my future. I want to know what exactly is expected of me so that I can proceed with my assignment from a more positive and confident standpoint. I may overthink my assignments or with anything I do but it’s only because I’m super cautious. And I must be. I need to be. I really want to do my best and I know that I can and will but in order to do that, I must continue to ask questions when I have them. After all, I am the learner, and a student.

Man, I want this so bad. My children are counting on me. I’m counting on me. Gods counting on me. I have sacrificed so, so very much to get here. And I continue to sacrifice and suffer and risk so much, just to stay grounded. I can’t allow anything to take this from me. I don’t think my professors or anyone can ever understand that. I want this more than I’ve ever wanted anything else in the world. Like, it’s just crazy. I’ve been working to get where I am today for about 7 years now. 7 years I’ve been in college already. I’m always near close to getting evicted because I can never pay my rent on time because I can barely work because I always have to study, I suffer from depression and anxiety, I can barely see my children, I barely keep up with my laundry and home and car, I’m backed up with almost every expense that I’m responsible for, I lose sleep and many nights for always breaking them to study, I go hungry for days at a time sometimes, I’m always isolated and alone, feeling lonely, I miss out on family events and my own birthday because I just don’t got the time. I can remember all of the times that I’ve gotten on my knees to pray and beg to God to not leave me because I often feel like I fall and can’t get back up, and so I call for his help. As strong as people think I am, I am still human and I need help too. I beg him for his help in remaining composed and resilient and I beg him to not take this from me. I promise him that I’ll keep trying and that I’ll prove it to him but to please not take my dream from me. All of this for 7 years and it baffles me to think that one grade of a 74 or lower can take it all away from me. If I get one 74 or lower, I will get dismissed from the program and just like that, those 7 years of suffering meant nothing. Just like that my dream gets snatched from me and I’ll be told I can’t become a nurse. It’s ridiculous. It makes me sick to even think about it. I can’t allow it to happen. I won’t.

I know I will be one of the greatest nurses ever. I don’t need a professor or a grade to tell me that. I feel that the foundation of true nursing and care comes directly from the heart and mind and I am so in love with caring for others and helping others and determined to learn more and more everyday so that I can save more and more lives, every single day , for the rest of my life. Something as simple as adjusting one of my patients pillows, or giving them extra blankets and tucking them in, means so much to me. It means so much to them ! They tell me I’m special and “thoughtful beyond compare”. I put a pillow under there elbow for comfort while I draw there blood. Most do not do that and won’t even think about it. But I do, naturally. And I didn’t think nothing of it until my patients began to continuously point it out to me. Until they continued to point out all of the unique things that I do for them that make them say “nursing is your gift”. I never even thought I had a “gift”. They say everyone does and that everyone is good at something but I could never think of anything for myself. I can’t sing, I’m not a great dancer, I can’t play instruments, I’m not the greatest cook, I’m not athletic.. so what am I good at I thought ? Throughout my 7 years working at Rhode Island hospital I am now sure that my gift is nursing. Delivering health with the upmost passionate, genuine and selfless care. Not only do I love to care for others, but I love to know everything. I love to learn. I’m always told that I’m super smart and intelligent but I think I’m just nosy. I’m a very curious person. I always need to know the why and I try hard to connect all of the pieces together. I don’t just want to know what heart failure is. I want to know how it’s caused, what it causes, how to spot it, how to stop it, and I want to know all of those things to the T. Can’t no one tell me that I can’t or that I shouldn’t. I don’t want to know “just enough” to pass. It’s not enough for me. I want to know as much as possible. It’s so amazing to me how the human body functions and that drives me to endless limits. I believe in the ultimate and extremely potent power of the mind and I believe that I can learn and do anything I set my mind on. I believe I can manifest it all. It’s just that way my mind is set up. The in between doesn’t work for me. I tried. It’s either I’m super ambitious and willing and believe in myself, or I want nothing to do with it and it weighs me down. And can’t no one tell me that my mindset is a misleading one because my mindset is the one that has got me to be a senior in a baccalaureate nursing program, despite being a single mom of 2 since my young teenage years. Despite dealing with anxiety, depression and ptsd. Despite having to go hungry because I sometimes can’t even afford food. Despite having to study in my car because my lights get shut off for nonpayment. Despite people telling me that I’ll never be anything and that I’m incapable and insignificant and that I should just give up. Despite being spit on and told that I’m a piece of shit or that I’m not good enough because I’m alone and a Latina or because I’m a mom and work and “ wouldn’t be able to handle it”. Despite being told that I’m not smart. And, despite always asking questions.

So please professors, let me ask my questions. Let me seek reassurance and clarification. Please let me be cautious and care so much , more than the ordinary, because in the end, I’ve worked harder than the ordinary. It’s evident and evidenced, that young Latina single moms like me are least likely to graduate and more likely to drop out of college and especially nursing school. I believe the odds fall under 5% nationwide. But, I am determined to beat the odds, as I already have been. For me, and for my children, and for my parents, and for those that need a reason to believe. So please professors, help me, don’t push me. Uplift me and give me my space and opportunity to learn and to be just like you. I want to rise to the top like you did and be able to educate like you do and be able to provide for my family and make a difference like you do.

Take it easy on me.

Take it easy on us.

And thank you for all you do.


Nursing student, Denisse Perez

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