2021 Creative Writing Awards

2021 Honored Students

One of our students’ assignments during their first clinical experience is to begin a journal. Through their journal they can watch their own transformations. Through their writing we can understand contemporary nursing and midwifery through the eyes, hands, and feelings of these remarkable students and soon-to-be advanced practice registered nurses and certified nurse midwives.

YSN’s annual Creative Writing Awards are enlivened by the inspirational presence of YSN Professor Linda Honan. Yale nursing students submit their narratives, journal entries, and other creative writing for consideration of one of three significant student awards.

The 2021 Creative Writing Award winners are Camila Soto Espinoza, Maxwell Shaw-Jones, and Tim McGehee.

Camila Soto Espinoza

Camila Soto Espinoza is a second year CNM/WHNP student at Yale School of Nursing. She was born and raised in Chile, where she discovered her love for midwifery at a very young age. In 2015, she graduated as a certified midwife from the University of Concepción, and worked in multiple public hospitals across the country. It was through the stories of her patients that she was inspired to understand the connection between culture and medicine. She moved from Chile to the US in 2018 to start her masters at Yale University. Camila has used her voice and writing skills to share her experiences as a FGLI student, immigrant, and advocate for diversity, inclusion and change. She became an RN in 2019, a Yale Institute of Global Health fellow at UNICEF in 2020, and has served as a student representative and co-chair for YSN’s diversity, equity and inclusion council for two years.  She has spent the COVID era working as an RN to keep the Yale community safe, and on research to understand the immune response caused by COVID infections. She’s currently completing her integration at Massachusetts General Hospital, and is expected to graduate in May of 2021 as a midwife and women’s health NP with a concentration in global health.

Read Camila’s essay, “Monotony,” here.

Maxwell Shaw-Jones

Maxwell is a GEPN student in the Family Nurse Practitioner Specialty. In 2018 he graduated from Middlebury College with a degree in English. He spent the following few years alternatively traveling and working a weird, wide range of jobs. After trying out being an island caretaker, a fiberglass laminator, and a museum security guard, he eventually realized he wanted to be a nurse. Maxwell is interested in the ways nursing can be used to address all manner of issues outside of what we typically think of as ‘health’ and will be co-facilitating the Fall 2021 US Health Justice Elective.

Read Maxwell’s essay, “His Feet,” here

Tim McGehee

Tim is a first year AGPCNP student from Milford, Connecticut. After briefly training to sail in the merchant marines, he enlisted in the U.S. Coast Guard drawn to its missions of homeland security and safety of life at sea. From the North Atlantic to the Caribbean, he stood watch over his cutter’s propulsion plant as a machinery technician. There he built the skills of maintaining, troubleshooting, and repairing machinery. In a twist of fate, Tim was struck by the similarities between troubleshooting machinery and diagnosing disease. After four years, he separated from the Coast Guard taking his chances on college and a career in healthcare. Upon graduating from the University of Connecticut with honors, he worked as a nursing home CNA. There he developed an appreciation for the power of building strong relationships with patients, the holistic nursing model of care, and the medical needs of older adults. He has continued to work in the long-term care setting as an RN. Outside of YSN, Tim is married with two young boys. He intends to work in primary care as a nurse practitioner with the Department of Veteran Affairs.

Read Tim’s essay, ‘ ‘Pain, You Say?’ A Nursing Home Monologue’ here.

Honorable Mentions

The following students are being saluted as honorable mentions:

Kendall Cote ’23 MSN, Helen Day ’23 MSN, Ashleigh Evans ’23 MSN, Stacey Frizzell ’23 MSN, Leoncia Gillespie ’23 MSN, Elizabeth (Libby) Grant ’23 MSN, Kay Green ’22 MSN, Kierra Jackson ’21 MSN, Nicole Kuhnly ’21 MSN, Jill Langan ’21 MSN, Kathleen Lessard ’23 MSN, Sarah Ann Lovell ’22 MSN, Kylee Martin Horlacher ’23 MSN, Sajni Persad ’23 MSN, Jordan Quintin ’23 MSN, Marina Rosenberg ’23 MSN, Kendall Tamler ’21 MSN, and Shiliu Wang ’23 MSN.

We wish to extend our thanks to our judges:

Preliminary Judges:

Nina Adams, Dr. Deborah Fahs, Betsy Groth, Dr. Lorence Gutterman, Katie Pellico, Mary Pierson, and Shel Swanson.

Distinguished Judges:

Echo Heron, critical care nurse and New York Times bestselling author of nine books; Anne Fadiman, award-winning author, essayist, editor, and teacher; Anna Quinlan, Pulitzer-Prize winning author; and Lee Woodruff, author of three bestselling books.