As far back as 2008, the Institute of Medicine, along with a major public health nonprofit, The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, recognized that nursing, as a profession, would need to evolve as the our society changed and as healthcare became more about chronic illnesses than acute care. It was clear that nurses needed more education to meet these needs. Theresa A. Bailey, R.N. is an in-patient oncology nurse at Mercy Medical Center in Baltimore, and she also provides services at Good Shepherd, a treatment center for adolescents with severe emotional and behavioral issues.

(Photo Courtesy of Theresa A. Bailey, R.N.)

(Photo Courtesy of Theresa A. Bailey, R.N.)

Bailey received her associate’s degree in nursing from Community College of Baltimore County/Catonsville, and she is currently pursuing a master’s degree in the bachelor’s to master’s fast track program through Walden University.

What inspired you to enter nursing?

“As with many people who enter nursing, it is because of the desire to care for others. Many of us have had family members cared for by a great nurse leaving an impression upon us, which influences us later. For me, it was the nurses during the illnesses of both of my parents in the late 1980’s. I actually started the nursing program many years ago but had to withdraw. Then, in 2007, I was encouraged and supported to explore nursing again.”

How does your educational background relate to your current roles?

“Nursing education combines lecture and textbook instruction, then demonstration and laboratory study leading up to clinical practicums at on-site facilities. This education prepared me to become an R.N. on a medical and surgical inpatient oncology unit at a local hospital. I also work at a residential treatment center for adolescents, which is quite different from the hospital, but my education allows me to practice there effectively as well.”

How has your education helped to further your career and contributed to your success?

“The diversity within my education has also allowed me to fill in and care for patients in other hospital units with many other diagnoses, which broadens my experience.”

What is some advice you can offer others looking to go into nursing?      

“Do what you love. Ask to shadow at a local hospital. This enables you to get a brief snapshot of what it is like to be a nurse on a daily basis and not just what is portrayed on television. Nursing school is unlike any other programs. While most tests have one correct answer and three wrong answers, in nursing school, there are four correct answers and you have to discern the most correct and the safest response. Gather support from family and friends.”

Susan Brown originally spent many years in banking/finance before confronting her addictions. She has now been in recovery for 20 years.
Primary interests include metaphysics and energy healing in which she has several certifications. She has written for Examiner.com since 2009 and also writes for Om Times. Sue lives in Baltimore.