Winnie, who lives in San Mateo, CA, came to nursing school through a circuitous path, graduating with a B.A. in Literatures in English from the University of California San Diego before she decided to overcome her trepidation about math and science.
“We shouldn’t be limited by our fears or what we think of our abilities, and I’ve learned that with enough hard work and practice, our abilities can grow,’’ she said in this recorded interview.
Winnie’s calling to nursing was nurtured at a very young age. Throughout her childhood she was the medical translator for her parents and grandparents, immigrants from China. She grew up in Oakland, CA, near the city’s Chinatown, and keenly observed an elderly population that didn’t speak English while they maneuvered a new world.
“Since elementary school, I have been in and out of hospitals assisting family members, as a first-generation Chinese American,’’ she wrote.
As a child, Winnie rode in the ambulance with her grandparents and stayed by their side while they were in intensive care. Even then, she understood how frightening it was for them, and for other patients, not to understand what a medical professional was saying.
“Seeing what my grandparents went through inspires me to treat each patient as if they were my own relative,’’ she wrote.
Pintas & Mullins established this $2,500 scholarship because we believe that nurses are the critical linchpin of health care. As advocates for those who have been injured, we understand that a good nurse is crucial to a patient’s well-being.
Winnie takes this seriously as well. “Nursing is a high calling; I have shared in many triumphs and sorrows with patients over the years that made me want to be a nurse,’’ she wrote.
After graduating college, Winnie began taking science and math classes, and worked in medical offices, all in preparation to attend nursing school. She is currently working toward a BSN from Samuel Merritt University. She hopes to specialize in obstetrics and gynecology. She is particularly concerned about the high rate of maternal mortality in the United States.
Winnie began her essay with part of the nurse’s oath from Florence Nightingale, considered to be the founder of modern nursing, “With loyalty will I [endeavor] to aid the physician in his work, and as a ‘missioner of health’ I will dedicate myself to devoted service to human welfare.”
Read Winnie’s essay and watch her interview.