By Jaimie Woodard, ’02
Aimee Rowell, University of West Florida junior majoring in Nursing, knows just how crucial nursing is when it comes to good patient outcomes. Right after finishing up her freshmen year at UWF, Rowell became very ill and had to spend almost a month in the hospital recovering. The experience made her realize that she wanted to become a nurse.
“I had amazing nurses,” said Rowell. “They were the people that brightened my day and helped me through the tough spots. I want the opportunity to make a difference in somebody’s life just like the nurses that took care of me.”
A sincere love and passion for people and their well-being that’s what Rowell believes are the key qualities a good nurse must possess. Since enrolling in UWF’s Nursing program, she has learned that nurses do more than simply take care of the physiological needs of their patients; they also provide psychological and emotional support.
“It may sound cliché, but nursing really is caring,” said Rowell. “Nursing is walking into a room and loving and caring for this person that you just met.”
For Rowell, attending college was always in her game plan. Growing up in a family of college graduates, she knew education was an important contributor to future success, so she made it a priority. When it came time for Rowell to choose a college, UWF’s reputation for excellence made the university her top choice.
“I talked to many different nurses that graduated from several different schools, and those that graduated from UWF felt more prepared to be in the real-world than anyone else from any other school,” said Rowell. “Also, the small, personal class sizes at UWF were appealing to me.”
Through the help of scholarships that cover most of her tuition and book costs, Rowell has been able to focus on her studies, instead of having to worry about finances. In addition to excelling academically, Rowell also is the president of the Student Nurses Association. She will graduate from UWF with her Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing (BSN) in 2008.
“After graduation, I plan to work and gain valuable work experience,” said Rowell. “Then, I plan to pursue my Master of Science in Nursing degree, so I can continue to expand my base of knowledge. UWF has given me the knowledge and opportunity to follow my heart and pursue my dreams.”