Hometown: Richton Park, IL (Chicago metropolitan)
Name of Undergraduate Institution: University of Miami
Major(s)/Minor(s) in College: Nursing Major; Minor in Modern Languages and Literature: Spanish and Arabic
Favorite Quote: “You must be the change you wish to see in the world.” – Mahatma Gandhi
Contact Info: AmberMWilliamsRN@gmail.com
Where are you currently at in your career path and why did you decide to pursue this career path?
Currently, I am a Registered Nurse working on the inpatient Oncology/Medical-Surgical Unit at the Rush University Medical Center in Chicago, IL. Deciding between career paths was not an easy task, as I also considered physician and pharmacist routes. Ultimately, I
decided to pursue a career in nursing based on my own personality and the amount of patient contact that I desired. After working as a pharmacy technician, I determined that working behind the counter verifying and filling medication orders as a pharmacist
did not include enough patient contact for me, was too repetitive/predictable and was too quiet lol. Furthermore, after additional research, I realized that I would not feel fulfilled as a physician because I would not have the time to really care for patients.
Physicians often see patients for fifteen-twenty minutes or less each day, and I really wanted a role that would allow me to be a direct caregiver, listener, educator, and to provide ongoing thorough assessments. Nursing was a perfect choice for me!
If you could go back and have a chat with your naïve college freshman self, what would you tell her?
Lol, I would definitely tell my naïve freshman self “to get out of bed and get to those 8 AMs!” Even though my grades were great freshman year, I definitely would have had a better foundation for the following years' courses. I would also tell my freshman self to “enjoy freshman year while it lasts.” After freshman year, responsibilities and work loads increased substantially.
What advice would you give to someone looking to pursue a similar path as yours?
Research the field as much as you can! I obtained really good insight by speaking to recent grad RNs and RNs w/ experience, as well as through interacting with nurses on allnurses.com.
Furthermore, I would encourage nursing students to really engage themselves in the clinical experience. Step up and practice your skills! Many of the good habits and techniques that I acquired during my two years of nursing school really paved a strong foundation for my transition to professional clinical practice as a Registered Nurse.
What did you do to get through the stressful nature of nursing school?
Between 6:40am-3:30pm clinicals+clinical homework, 8am-4pm courses with a lunch break, Senate meetings, multiple exams in one week, SGRho activities, community service activities and work commitments, I definitely felt burnt out on several occasions. By senior year, I finally found some balance by regularly incorporating time for working out, brunch and lunch dates with my friends, and church! Through everything, I meditated on the poem “Don't Quit” and embraced resting and balance through the struggles of nursing school.
What were some of your involvements in college? Have those involvements helped you in any way in nursing school?
At the U, I was a Hammond Scholar and served as Anti-Basileus of the Mu Nu chapter of Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc. I also served as a Senator representing
United Black Students, a Senator representing School of Nursing and Health Studies, a site leader for National Gandhi Day of Service, and as a Co-Chair for the Black Awareness Month Day of Service. I also dedicated time to local high school students as a mentor for InspireU and worked as a Chemistry and Spanish tutor for student-athletes at the U. All of my commitments during college have developed my work ethic, leadership skills and communications skills. My ability to manage my time well is one of my strongest professional attributes. I truly believe that nursing school cannot be completed without progressing in terms of time management. It is designed to be very demanding because RNs are required to critically think while juggling and prioritizing several different tasks daily. I would not be as efficient as an RN today without the skills and experiences I gained serving as a student leader at the U.
I appreciate you for sharing a part of yourself with us as well as talking about how your prior experiences have led you to become a better nurse Amber! Thanks a ton and continue to excel at what you do!!
Posted on January 6th, 2017