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Spirit of community service flows through veins of York College Nursing student

September 25, 2018
Ethan Miller, nursing major

Ethan Miller considers community service part of his DNA: his grandmother was a nurse; his father was a Marine.

As a Nursing student and Eisenhart Scholar at York College of Pennsylvania, Ethan plans to follow in their footsteps of serving others.

In fall 2016, Ethan, a Reading native, embarked on his new journey, joining the ranks of a very select group at York College: male Nursing majors.

His grandmother's nursing career had always inspired Ethan, and the prospect of joining a female-dominated profession didn’t deter him in the least.

“It sounds very cliché, but I do genuinely like helping people,” he says. “I thought, ‘Why not major in it?’”

No more doctor/nurse binary

Ethan estimated that of the 65 students in York College’s Nursing program, he’s met five or six other males. But, he says, that number is growing.

“Males are actively coming out of the woodwork to beat the stereotype,” he says.

According to Ethan, there has been an uptick in male Nursing majors over the past 10 years due to the growing expansion of lucrative paths that Nursing majors can pursue.

“You don’t have to be a nurse or a doctor anymore,” he says.

The doctor/nurse binary was shattered over the past few decades, he says, as opportunities have opened in certain field such as nurse practitioner and nurse anesthesiologist, which require a higher level of training but aren’t as demanding as medical school.

Becoming an Eisenhart Scholar

As if pursuing the demanding and often grueling profession of nursing isn’t enough to establish Ethan’s bona fides as a helper, he is also one of a very exclusive group of York College students who can call themselves Eisenhart Scholars.

Each year, only five students are selected for the scholarship program, and they are chosen based on their community service.

Ethan says that for students who are already community-focused, the 30 hours of community service required per semester is less daunting.

So far, Ethan has volunteered at Trinity Lutheran Church and the Crispus Attucks after-school program, among other places.

“I’m very proud to call myself an Eisenhart Scholar,” he says.

Changing his perspective

Ethan worked on community service projects during his high school years, but he remembers one incident that completely changed his perspective.

He and his fellow students had been competing at a convention in Atlanta when they saw a group of homeless people outside a church, sitting on a bench. They would later learn they had unknowingly walked through what locals called “homeless city,” a small section of the city that had turned into a community of homeless people.

“We just looked at each other in complete silence. We didn’t know what to say,” he says.

He woke up the next morning still deeply affected by the experience, so much so that he felt sick in the stomach.

He and his friends decided they had to do something, so they collected what little change they could from their friends, walked a few miles back to homeless city and distributed cases of water bottles and fast food to the people there.

“That day will truly be with me for the rest of my life,” he says.

Looking toward a future in York

Ethan confesses he has fallen in love with the York community, so much so that, after his graduation in 2020, he intends to lay down roots by applying for a registered nurse position at York and Ephrata Hospitals.

Yet, Ethan admits that he “likes to run the show,” and that’s why he’s pursuing a minor in Business Administration, as he plans to someday move into healthcare management.

No matter which avenue Ethan chooses in his profession, he will always maintain a keen interest in serving his community. For him, the alternative is unfathomable, he says.

“Why live in a community and not help anyone?”

Learn more about the Nursing program at York College.

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