Motivated by nurses before she became one, Registered Nurse Kelli McDonnell recently shared insights into her career with the next generation of nurses. This is the story of how one nurse pays her passion forward — by inspiring middle schoolers at their career day.
It was hearing from her nurse friends about the awesome experiences they have in their careers that convinced Kelli McDonnell to become a nurse. And now, three years later, she had the opportunity to share that excitement and her own awesome experiences with groups of sixth graders at Depoali Middle School during their recent career day.
“I talked about the opportunities that nursing has to offer and how they can do anything with it – work in hospitals, do research, teach or be in education,” explains the RN, who is Manager of Nursing, General Surgical Unit. “If they are nurses, they can go anywhere in the world. The opportunities are endless, and they get to help people.”
The Life of a Nurse, Explained
Kelli spoke to more than 80 middle schoolers as part of their recent career day. She felt it was important to share with the students insights about nursing as a career — obviously because while there is such a need for nurses in our area, but also because several local schools offer nursing degrees. On top of it all, the job itself is a meaningful one.
“It’s one of those careers where you get to go to work and do something important every day and do that for another person,” she told the students. “It’s a very rewarding field. I’m always trying to recruit and give students something to think about. Nurses get to make an impact on people every day.”
In addition to talking about what she does, degree options, and her favorite things about nursing, Kelli also fielded several questions and comments from the students. A few favorites: How do you use your stethoscope? Can you really hear things with the stethoscope?
The students also asked medical questions about their families, about surgery and how many stitches they’d need if they fell.
Kelli noted there were many highlights from the day, including one student who said Kelli was the “coolest” person after she gave her talk.
“I asked who was interested in nursing, and a girl raised her hand and said she really cares about people and wants to make a difference,” Kelli explained. “Other kids said they think being a nurse would be super cool and it sounded really interesting. They were into it, and it was a lot of fun.”