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What Does It Take to Become a Nurse?: Nursing instructors discuss their career choice with young campers

Posted: July 18, 2016

Sharon L Carter, & Larissa Alberson, instructors in clinical nursing,
speak about their careers with young people attending the camp.

Officials with UTeach PREP camp recently reached out to professionals working in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) careers at the University of Texas at Austin to speak about their careers with young people attending the camp.

Sharon L Carter, MS, RN, CCRN, and Larissa Alberson, MSN, RN, both instructors in clinical nursing, answered that request — heartily.

They spoke with approximately 40 middle school-aged kids (10–14 year olds) who wanted to know what nurses really do and where they work. The kids were completely entranced by what they considered the “gross stuff” nurses encounter and loved hearing about the experiences the two instructors had had on the job.

Sharon and Larissa gave two consecutive 20-minute presentations describing:

  1. What they were like when they were kids,
  2. What the best part of their job is and what makes it fun and exciting to go to work each day,
  3. How their job makes an impact on others, and
  4. How math or other STEM subjects played any role in their career preparation.

The campers wanted to know which classes they would need to take if they decided to become a nurse. One enterprising young man was also curious about the pay.

“I told him that the pay was enough for me to live on and be content,” Sharon said. “But that the real pay was in patient’s lives and knowing that I did something good.”

The camps are non-profit six-week academic enrichment programs for Austin areas students who have an interest in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. Courses include physics, algebraic structures, computer science, logic, problem solving, engineering and college and career exploration.

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