Faculty Share Profession’s Joy During Nurses Week

May 12, 2023

On International Day of the Midwife on May 5, Commencement student standard bearer Jenilee Jaquez ’23 MSN and Specialty Co-Director Tamika Julien DNP, CNM, WHNP-BC, CLC shared their passion for the unique specialty. And now during Nurses Week (May 6-13), faculty across Yale School of Nursing (YSN) share their thoughts on the nation’s most trusted profession: what inspired them to choose nursing, why it’s tough, and why it’s worth it.

Marlene St. Juste, MSN, APRN, FNP-BC 
Lecturer in Nursing
Specialty: Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP)

What do you love about being a nurse?

I love supporting a patient when they need help the most! During illness/birth/ surgery patients are flooded with emotions, fear, anxieties, and painful physical symptoms; and your nursing knowledge, compassion, empathy, and intervention is what they appreciate most during those times. 

I also love the endless possibilities and opportunities in nursing. As you grow in your nursing career, there are so many avenues you can take to facilitate growth. From being a nurse at the bedside in a hospital setting to being a nurse in a community health center, working as a nurse practitioner in an urgent care center or in a school setting, to nursing leadership, nursing education, and nursing research; the opportunities are endless! I love being a nurse/nurse practitioner, it gives me joy. 

Joanne DeSanto Iennaco ’05 MPhil, ’09 PhD, APRN, PMHNP-BC, PMHCNS-BC, FAAN
Director of the Clinical Doctor of Nursing Practice Program 
Specialty: Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner

Dr. Iennaco writes the blog Quieting Minds and often prepares guided meditations for students and speaking engagements. She prepared an 8-minute practice for #NursesWeek, and you can check it out here

Not a nurse? Dr. Iennaco also recommends this guided practice for non-clinicians who are fulfilling a caregiving role.  

Elyse Borsuk ’90 MSN, CPNP-PC, APRN
Lecturer in Nursing
Specialty: Pediatric Nurse Practitioner

What is the hardest part about being a nurse and why is it worth it anyway? 

The hardest part about being a nurse sometimes is separating our professional life from our personal lives. As a nurse we are often the first person who works with families assessing their care, being an educator, following up with the patient and families and coordinating care for those children with complex medical issues. It is hard not to become invested in our patients and not worry about then at the end of the day. On the other hand, I wouldn’t have it any other way. As a PNP and being fortunate to have worked in my current practice for almost 25 years I have seen that impact of the care I have offered in that now I am seeing the children of some of the patients that I had the privilege to care for. 

How does working with YSN students influence the way you practice? 

Working with YSN students has greatly impacted the way I practice for several reasons: first of all, it keeps me on my toes and I am always am striving to keep up to date with the latest treatments and political and social impact on healthcare. Also, the students have helped me be a better listener and more open to new and different perspectives.

Meghan McClain Garcia ’17 MSN, APRN, FNP-C, MPH, AAHIVS  
Part-Time Lecturer
Specialty: FNP

How did you choose your specialty?

I chose to become a Family Nurse Practitioner because I knew that I could make the most impact on the frontlines of healthcare taking care of families in primary care. I always envisioned myself in a role that allowed me to not only treat illness, but prevent it; to not only get to know my patients during a unique patient encounter, but to know them longitudinally; and to not only know them individually, but to know their families and their community. The FNP role allows me to do just that. 

To date, one of the greatest joys and pleasures of working as a Family Nurse Practitioner has been taking care of entire families. It also allows me to practice full-scope practice taking care of the sweetest newborns to our cherished elders. I get to know the individual, the family, and the community in which I work in a deep and meaningful manner, and it ultimately allows me to take better care and form better partnerships with my individual patients. 

Linda Ghampson, MSN, RN, CHSE
Lecturer in Nursing
Specialty: Simulation

What makes a nursing career so personally satisfying?

As a nurse, I get to fulfill a personal purpose of helping people. It gives me the chance to make a difference in someone’s life. Whether it is holding that vulnerable hand in the lonely room or sharing the joy of an improvement in a patient’s disease process, nursing affords me the opportunity to do something I really love.