“The nursing profession frequently presents moments in which there is a choice between giving your all or just doing the bare minimum, sticking true to your values or cutting corners to make your day a little easier,” says Maggie McDermott ’15, who works as a registered nurse at St. Thomas West Hospital in Nashville, Tennessee. “My choice to say Yes to giving my all even in those trying moments can be attributed to the growth and education I received at Franciscan.”Maggie decided she wanted to be a nurse in eighth grade when her grandmother became ill and moved in with her family. She saw many nurses, some of whom were in it only for the money. This made her want to become a nurse to give sick people the care they deserved.In her search for a nursing program, Maggie soon discovered that Franciscan was the only school she could find that taught nursing not only as a science and an art, but also as a vocation.“I saw how the nurses who graduated from here knew how to share the love of Christ with their patients simply through their actions,” she says.
Maggie says her nursing professors stressed the importance of providing safe, compassionate, holistic care to every patient while upholding the integrity and respecting the dignity of each patient. “If it wasn’t for the education I received through the Nursing Program at Franciscan, the way I handle myself as a nurse would be very different.”
Her formation and training serve her well for her new career at St. Thomas West Hospital, a 541-bed acute care hospital where she works on a heart failure unit of a cardiac telemetry floor. Typically, she treats middle-aged and elderly patients, but occasionally she treats patients as young as 25.
“Each and every night I go into work I have the ability not only to provide comfort and healing to a person in their most vulnerable state, but I also have the great honor of entering into someone’s life and sharing a little bit of my heart with them,” Maggie McDermott says. “I thank God every day for calling me to the nursing profession.”