New Life, New Calling
Nurses made all the difference in caring for her newborn niece
Her niece weighed less than 2 pounds at birth, and her survival seemed precarious. Each time Maria Moreno-Quiñones visited the tiny new family member in the neonatal intensive care unit, she was struck by the care and competency of the nurses.
It was their dedicated service, not just to her niece, but to her whole family, that inspired Moreno-Quiñones to return to school after a 10-year hiatus and pursue a nursing degree.
“I knew that I wanted to be just that: a professional who is in a position to provide such great joy while also being a source of strength,” she says.
Now a senior, Moreno-Quiñones is an active member of the Hispanic Student Nursing Association, where she has served on the executive board.
She was also a member of Sigma Theta Tau International, the honor society of nursing.
Benefits of joining these organizations have been numerous. In addition to leadership skills and networking, Moreno-Quiñones has gained a more thorough understanding of how a patient’s cultural background can affect overall wellness.
“Cultural competency is key,” she says. “As nurses, we must gain our patients’ trust, and what better way to do that than through understanding who they are, from their values to their beliefs.”
Moreno-Quiñones accepted a position as an intensive care nurse in the medical unit of a prestigious hospital. She plans to become active in the National Association of Hispanic Nurses, both locally and nationally.
“Eventually I’ll return to school to further my education,” she says. “But for now, I plan on being a great nurse, joining committees, and using my knowledge to provide better care for our patients.”