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Nursing is the ‘perfect melding’ of science and nurturing, York College grad says

August 28, 2018
Emily Nix '17, nursing graduate

Emily Nix never thought she’d become a nurse. From the time she was 4, she wanted to work in marine biology.

But as she began that pursuit in college, something changed.

“I felt like the emotion was kind of sucked out of everything in biology,” she says. “It was very black and white research.”

One day, Emily was shadowing a Nursing student on the pediatric floor at York Hospital when a light went off inside her head. 

“I felt like Nursing was the perfect melding of those two worlds: science with nurturing and emotion,” she says. “After that, I couldn't let it go.”

‘No looking back’

Before Emily graduated from York College of Pennsylvania’s Nursing program in 2014, she took a summer mission trip to a children’s hospital in Africa that led to a moment of serendipity.

When working with the pharmacy at the hospital, a pharmacist handed Emily a Post-It note — with “York College Department of Nursing” branding on it.

“Apparently, a group of York College Nursing students had previously been to that very same hospital, she says. “Talk about college connections!”

She’d later learn that the professor who told her about her first job was the same professor who had previously visited that African hospital.

“There was no looking back after that,” she says.  “I couldn't let go of nursing. It was that much of a captivation for me that I just had to do it.”

Constantly learning

Today, Emily works in a nursing role at Nurse-Family Partnership, a national community health program that works with first-time mothers.

With Nurse-Family Partnerships, she visits pregnant women in their home, many times in poverty or challenging situations. 

“By far my favorite thing about community health is that the ‘medicine’ that I get to use is helping people see how extraordinary they are,” she says. “So many people who are often judged, those using drugs, those living on the streets, people who have been behind bars, these people have taught me the most valuable lessons of my life.”

Even though she’s been out of school for four years, she is constantly learning, growing and becoming more self-aware.

“When I step over the threshold of someone's home I get to identify strengths,” she says. “I get to understand perspectives. I get to witness resilience.”

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