At the Columbus School of Practical Nursing, we are often humbled by the maturity, dedication and grace of our nursing students. Many of our students balance their studies with work, family obligations, and personal challenges that make their success even more impressive. Anita Burk is one of those students. She is currently excelling in her coursework while caring for her young son who is in hospice and palliative care.
Anita has been a caregiver her entire life. She cared for her mother growing up and has become a fierce advocate for her 10-year-old son who requires constant care. When you meet Anita, she exudes optimism and warmth. Her enthusiasm to become a nurse extends beyond her own personal career goals. While it’s typical for our students to form study groups and support one another, Anita is determined to make sure her entire class does well. “She is like our class mom,” said Rougy Oularé, fellow nursing student. “Anita makes study sheets for all of our classmates because she wants all of us to succeed,” explained Rougy. Natural leaders like Anita motivate others to do well while fostering a feeling of belonging. “I love the sense of family among classmates. Our group thrives on our diversity. I never knew coming in that I would have a second family,” remarked Anita.
When we asked Anita how the clinical portion of our nursing program was going, she said it was “an overwhelming experience.” “I find myself getting attached to patients which is something I will need to learn to pull back on,” Anita shared. “Even the small things like feeding someone who cannot feed themselves is an amazing experience.”
Anita’s thoughts on nursing as a career are profound. She realizes the importance of saving lives, but understands nursing is so much more than that. She describes how the simple tasks like giving someone a warm bath, feeding them, and providing dignity can make a huge difference in the quality of a patient’s care. “I feel that nursing is an extension of humanity,” Anita gently explained.
It should come as no surprise after getting to know Anita that she plans to become and RN and focus on the meaningful specialty of hospice and palliative care. “The end of life can be just as beautiful as the beginning of life if you have the right people in place. That’s where I feel my heart is.” Her nurturing approach to patient care will serve patients and their families well.
We know Anita Birk will make a great addition to any healthcare team and are proud to have her as a one of our students in the Columbus School of Practical Nursing.