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Tanya May | Nurses Week | University of Rochester School of Nursing

  By Tanya May, RN, ’16N 
  Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Tanya May
Dean Kathy Rideout EdD, PPCNP-BC, FNAP, congratulates
Tanya May, RN, '16N, at her graduation in December.

Honestly, I didn't choose nursing, but nursing found me. During my freshman year of college, I spent most of my time in hospice with my mother. Throughout this difficult time, I found comfort and support given to my mother by those nurses caring for her.

The nurses listened to her stories including her worries, her joys, and her memories. They would listen to how her talk about how I was doing in school and ask me about it each day I visited. They knew I would come each day after school and stay the night with my mother.

When I arrived, they would have her couch made into a bed so I could sleep by her side. They spoke to me like I was family and listened to me in a way I knew they truly cared.

During my mother's stay, my mother made comments about not feeling alone when family was not able to be by her side. She told us that she would visit her nurses at the nurses’ station and they would take all the time in the world to speak to her.

Even after my mother's death, these nurses showed up to her funeral and continued their support for my mother and my family. These nurses chose to give their support and compassion. They made a choice, that at the time, I believed was above their job description.

I never knew that nursing meant caring for the patient AND their families. But I'm so thankful it does because it was exactly the support my mother and my family needed at this time. Before she died, I promised my mother I would be that kind of nurse. 

Tanya's story was shared with the UR School of Nursing as part of National Nurses Week.

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