This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience. More info

Why I'm Becoming a Nurse: One Student's Revelations on the Nurse-Patient Relationship

SON Patient RelationshipThe phenomenon of the nurse-patient relationship and its ability to affect the overall treatment of a patient is a central topic to the study of nursing. The focus is usually on the ability of the nurse to impact the patient, but we often forget how much the patient can impact the nurse.

Adrienne Hayes, a student in the professional nursing degree program at Rasmussen College, experienced the important connection between a patient and a nurse firsthand during her on-site clinical training in 2013.

Inspiration to Become a Nurse

Adrienne Hayes did not always know that she wanted to be a nurse. For the first 20 years of her career she worked as a semi truck driver out of Green Bay, Wis. She found inspiration four years ago after her father suffered a massive heart attack which left him on life support. He had a living will specifying his wish to not have his life prolonged artificially.

The nurse assigned to his case guided Hayes’ family through the difficult process of turning off the machines. She stayed with the family every step of the way, going above and beyond to ensure the family felt as supported as possible. “Her compassion in that situation helped me see that I [wanted] to help others,” Hayes said. “If I can give back just one thing to one family like that, it will be worth it.”

The Importance of Building the Patient Bond

Hayes enrolled part-time at Rasmussen College in 2011, while continuing her full-time job as a semi truck driver. With the support of the campus staff, Hayes decided last July to take a position working the evening shift, enabling her to enroll full-time in the nursing associate degree program at the Green Bay campus.

During her clinical training at the Aurora BayCare Medical Center, Hayes met an unforgettable patient, a fellow semi truck driver who was scheduled to receive a total hip replacement. Although she was technically assigned to the patient in the neighboring bed, the two immediately connected because of their shared career experiences. It was clear after a short time that the two formed a bond similar to the one Hayes experienced with her father’s nurse.

The patient had a great deal of anxiety over the procedure and was fearful for what can be a difficult and time-consuming recovery. When Hayes was visiting her own patient, the truck driver would reach out to her for guidance on pain levels, recovery recommendations, mobility expectations and other areas of concern. Hayes knew from her own experience in the field that hip replacements are a common hazard for truck drivers because of the prevalence of obesity in the field. /p>

Hayes’ ability to relate to the man on a personal and professional level built a bond between the two. She always took the time to answer his questions with patience and understanding. His trust in her helped him through his rehabilitation. /p>

Making a Difference in the Patient Experience

Shortly after the patient checked out of the hospital, William Hartman, nursing dean for the Green Bay campus, interrupted one of Hayes’ classes with the announcement that she had been nominated for the Lily Award from the Aurora BayCare Medical Center. According to Hartman, the Lily Award recognizes role models within the hospital community and is reserved for Aurora BayCare employees that exhibit expertise in the clinical field.

The truck driver wrote: “I was so impressed by the professionalism of Adrienne. She was so caring and compassionate towards me and my family …. She is going to make a great nurse.”

Although students are not eligible to receive Lily Awards, she says the recognition she received from the patient’s nomination was more than enough to prove to herself that she had found her place in the world. /p>

Starting a New Life

The decision to become a nurse means that you will likely one day have the opportunity to make a profound impact on someone’s life. Hayes found that even as a nursing student her work has gone far beyond helping one patient recover from a surgery. She is forging connections that have the ability to change her own life and that of others as well.

Hayes expects to graduate from the ADN program in December 2013. “If I can make that much of a difference as a student nurse, I will only be able to continue to help people as I move forward in my career,” Hayes beamed.

There are many reasons to become a nurse. If you are interested in learning more, check out Rasmussen College’s nursing programs in your area.

Katy Katz

Katy is a Content Marketing Specialist at Collegis Education who writes student-focused articles on behalf of Rasmussen College. She enjoys creating engaging content to help former, current and future students on their path to a rewarding education.


Related Content

This piece of ad content was created by Rasmussen College to support its educational programs. Rasmussen College may not prepare students for all positions featured within this content. Please visit for a list of programs offered. External links provided on are for reference only. Rasmussen College does not guarantee, approve, control, or specifically endorse the information or products available on websites linked to, and is not endorsed by website owners, authors and/or organizations referenced. Rasmussen College is a regionally accredited private college.

logo-accreditation-acen logo-accreditation-ccne chart-credential-laddering-healthcare-management 0 Credits 90 Credits 180 Credits 48 Credits Start Here HIGH SCHOOL GRADS Start Here TRANSFER STUDENTS Start Here SECOND DEGREE PURSUERS End Here ASSOCIATE’S DEGREE Start Here MASTER’S DEGREE PURSUERS End Here BACHELOR’S DEGREE End Here MASTER’S DEGREE chart-credential-laddering-rsb 0 Credits Start Here HIGH SCHOOL GRADS Start Here TRANSFER STUDENTS 90 Credits Start Here SECOND DEGREE PURSUERS End Here ASSOCIATE'S DEGREE 180 Credits End Here BACHELOR'S DEGREE chart-credential-laddering-rsd 0 Credits Start Here HIGH SCHOOL GRADS Start Here TRANSFER STUDENTS 91 Credits Start Here SECOND DEGREE PURSUERS End Here ASSOCIATE'S DEGREE 181 Credits End Here BACHELOR'S DEGREE chart-credential-laddering-rsjs 0 Credits Start Here HIGH SCHOOL GRADS Start Here TRANSFER STUDENTS 91 Credits Start Here SECOND DEGREE PURSUERS End Here ASSOCIATE'S DEGREE 180 Credits End Here BACHELOR'S DEGREE chart-credential-laddering-rsn 0 Credits Start Here HIGH SCHOOL GRADS Start Here TRANSFER STUDENTS 91 Credits Start Here SECOND DEGREE PURSUERS End Here ASSOCIATE'S DEGREE 181 Credits End Here BACHELOR'S DEGREE icon-colored-outline-bank icon-colored-outline-certificate icon-colored-outline-circle-dollar-sign icon-colored-outline-folder-search icon-colored-outline-hand-heart icon-colored-outline-head-blocks icon-colored-outline-head-cog icon-colored-outline-head-heart icon-colored-outline-health-plus-leaves icon-colored-outline-hospital icon-colored-outline-light-bulb-analytics icon-colored-outline-magnifying-glass icon-colored-outline-monitor-healthcare icon-colored-outline-monitor-paper-search icon-colored-outline-nurse-rays icon-colored-outline-padlock-shield icon-colored-advance icon-colored-arrows-cross-curve icon-colored-build icon-colored-bulb-analytics icon-colored-certificate icon-colored-continual-developement icon-colored-folder-mortarboard icon-colored-globe-pen icon-colored-growth icon-colored-hand-bubble icon-colored-head-blocks icon-colored-head-cog icon-colored-laptop-cbe-skyscraper icon-colored-laptop-webpage icon-colored-location-pin icon-colored-monitor-paper-scan icon-colored-national icon-colored-person-whiteboard icon-colored-police-light icon-colored-prep icon-colored-presenter icon-colored-regional icon-colored-save-time icon-colored-skyscraper icon-colored-state icon-colored-student-centered icon-colored-support icon-colored-world-experience icon-camera icon-filter icon-info-circle icon-mail-forward icon-play-solid icon-quote-mark-left icon-quote-mark-right icon-share-square-o icon-spinner icon-tag ras-logo-flame ras-logo-horizontal ras-logo-stacked icon-bank icon-general-chart icon-general-connect icon-general-degree icon-general-discuss icon-general-email icon-general-find icon-general-hat icon-general-heart icon-general-laptop-building icon-general-laptop icon-general-leader icon-general-map icon-general-money icon-general-paperwork icon-general-people icon-general-phone icon-general-speak-out icon-head-heart icon-mglass icon-scales icon-simple-chat icon-simple-desktop icon-simple-find icon-simple-hamburger icon-simple-phone icon-testimonial-quotes icon-social-facebook-square-colored icon-social-facebook-square icon-social-facebook icon-social-google-plus-square icon-social-google-plus icon-social-instagram icon-social-linkedin-square-colored icon-social-linkedin-square icon-social-linkedin icon-social-pinterest-p icon-social-twitter-square icon-social-twitter icon-social-youtube-play-colored icon-social-youtube-play icon-util-checkbox-white icon-util-checkbox icon-util-checked-white icon-util-checked icon-util-chevron-down icon-util-chevron-left icon-util-chevron-right icon-util-chevron-up icon-util-language-switch icon-util-loading icon-util-open-window-button icon-util-open-window-link icon-util-pdf-button icon-util-pdf-link icon-util-refresh icon-util-x