The UT College of Nursing shines a spotlight on senior BSN student Michael Curtis from Memphis, TN. Curtis serves as Student Body Vice President and will graduate in May.
Q: What led you to pursue a degree in nursing?
A: Initially, I was drawn to the career by the application of science and mathematics in the profession–I enjoy learning about the human body and solving complicated mathematical equations. My interest in nursing was solidified when I was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes Mellitus. The nurses at LeBohner Hospital were so nice and respectful and considerate of my situation. As an eleven year-old child at the time, they made my complicated condition understandable and helped me realize the great impact of nurses–they can encourage, uplift, and restore through the power of their care!
Q: Tell us about a project or organization that you are involved with at UT or in the community.
A: I am involved with Leadership Knoxville Scholars at the university, which provides an avenue for connection to the Knoxville community. Currently, I am completing a community action project at Ijams Nature Center where I volunteer to maintain the environment by removing invasive species, replanting engendered species to more appropriate areas, and overseeing park cleanliness. I also lead interested groups in community service projects.
Q: What have you learned during your time in the UT College of Nursing that has made a difference to you?
A: The curriculum has challenged my way of thinking. Specifically, the Transcultural Nursing and Maternal Nursing courses have made a significant difference in my perspective of life and the nursing profession. Prior to my experiences in the College of Nursing, I did not express empathy or intentionality to others in need of health care. I also took health care for granted, as I did not have to worry about sickness/disease and its financial implications. I have learned that people need more than just procedures or surgery—they need holistic nursing care including empathy and passion that will help restore and maintain good health. Now that I have a better understanding of the potential impact a nurse can have on a patient and their family, I desire to be the change in health care—always being willing to do more for my patients in all situations.
Q: What do you want to do after graduation?
A: I would like to work in a health care facility for two to three years in one of the following areas: critical care unit, emergency department, labor/delivery, or mother/baby. I would then like to pursue a graduate degree.
Q: Is there anything else you would like to share about your experience at UT?
A: I am grateful for all of my experiences within the College of Nursing, including participation in the Nursing Honors Program and the opportunity to conduct research. I also founded a student organization and am currently serving as Student Body Vice President and these experiences are propelling me to be the individual I that I aspire to be. I am grateful for the faculty and students that I have had the opportunity to work with at UT. Their knowledge, wisdom and compassion has inspired me to do more for the community and the nursing profession. My life will never be the same, and I am grateful for that!