Are Worth the Sacrifices for
Nursing Alum Mischele Lewis
Windsor, N.J. - With a longstanding passion for helping others,
Mischele Lewis '06 (A.S., Nursing) thought about becoming
a pediatrician, veterinarian or physical therapist in high
school. Her plans changed with the birth of her daughter,
Victoria, in 2001, when she formed an instant bond with her
maternity nurse. "I still remember her name. Missy loved
her job and it showed in every task she performed," Lewis
recalls. "She was wonderful to me. I wanted to be her.
The following year, I applied to MCCC's nursing program. The
rest is history."
after graduation, Lewis has amassed a wealth of nursing experience.
For more than three years, she has worked as a night shift
nurse in the 36-bed Orthopedics/Neurology unit at Virtua Memorial
Hospital in Mount Holly. She tends to the needs of stroke
patients and surgical patients requiring joint replacements
or the repair of broken bones. "I have to keep an extra
eye on patients for the most subtle changes and catch potential
problems quickly," she says. Previously Lewis was a maternity
nurse and then a clinical coordinator at Robert Wood Johnson
University Hospital in Hamilton.
of Lewis's greatest satisfactions comes from educating patients.
"I really love to educate others," she says. "I most
enjoy teaching patients something new that impacts them, whether
it is about their medication, therapy modalities, or the risks and
benefits of their choices and lifestyles. It is gratifying to see
those 'ah-ha' moments when it all clicks for them."
also enjoys what patients have to share with her. "I love listening
to the wonderful life stories of the elderly. They have nuggets
of wisdom to bestow on us."
new nurse herself just five years ago, Lewis gladly accepts the
role of mentor/precept to new nurses and nursing students. She relates
to their situation. "I was that eager student," she explains.
"I embrace them, walk them through every step, and reinforce
the information. I want to give them the best possible experiences."
resident of West Trenton, Lewis says that attending Mercer was an
easy choice. As the mother of a young child, she needed the college's
close proximity, affordability and flexible class scheduling.
recalls a rigorous curriculum taught by dedicated faculty members
such as Donna Penn, Margaret Fink and Judy Reid, who offered lots
of encouragement and feedback. She also gained valuable first-hand
experience in a variety of clinical settings. "Without Mercer,
I am not sure what kind of nurse I would be," Lewis says. "My
instructors helped me - a raw, rough piece of clay - and molded
me into someone who is making a difference in the world."
Dean's List student, Lewis served as a student representative with
faculty and co-chaired the pinning ceremony committee for her graduating
class. She says she still keeps in touch with Mercer classmates.
While preparing for the National Council Licensure Examination for
Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN), she and a few others spent long hours
studying at a Starbucks in Hamilton. All of them passed the NCLEX
on their first attempt.
each achievement, Lewis has set her sight on her next goal. A member
of the American Nurses Association and the New Jersey State Nurses
Association, she is currently pursuing a bachelor's degree in nursing
at Thomas Edison State College and plans to continue on for her
master's degree in nursing. One day, she hopes to become a nurse
practitioner and possibly teach at the college level.
is impossible!" Lewis declares. "Despite all of the sacrifices
along the way, the end results in the health care field are absolutely
worth it. Get your foot in the door somewhere, anywhere - whether
you are a secretary, an aide, or even a transport worker. Persistence
pays off. There are so many career possibilities in this rewarding
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