From playing nurse to becoming one
Taylor Smith remembers very little about making a print ad for UTA's nursing program as a 5-year-old.
"I remember my mom and other people telling me what to do," she says. "I didn't know it was going to be an ad."
The ad shows little Taylor, a stethoscope draped around her neck, listening to the heartbeat of another child.
Smith didn't see the black-and-white ad until the fourth grade at her school's nursing office. She saw it over and over again as she got older.
Early this winter, that ad came full circle. In December, Smith graduated from the College of Nursing and Health Innovation with a bachelor's degree in nursing. She works in a DFW-area hospital and plans to return to graduate school to pursue a master's degree and a women's health nurse practitioner certification.
Smith, whose mother Pamela has worked at the College for nearly 20 years, decided to become a nurse when she was in sixth grade. Her mother was hospitalized following surgery, and Smith was impressed by the professionalism and empathy of the nurses.
"The nurses she had were really nice," she says. "They had a lot of compassion. They interacted regularly with my mom, dad, and grandmother."
Before graduation, Smith worked part-time as a patient care assistant in the oncology unit at Plaza Medical Center in Fort Worth. The experience, while emotionally trying, has only heightened her love for the nursing profession.
"I go in and help patients and families," she says. "I love the fact that I can make a big difference by doing simple things like talking to people and giving them medication."