by Jenneth B. Doria, BSN’79, MS, RN
UPNAAI News Editor-in-Chief
Being taught in a prime institution of learning, the University of the Philippines College of Nursing, unleashed an array of opportunities for my classmates in the Philippines, in the United States and anywhere we decided to practice our nursing careers. Indeed, the common thread that interweaves our lives as alumni is the strong, durable, and resilient fiber that our alma mater has skillfully knitted in our hearts and minds. I see ourselves as colorful patches of a beautiful quilt that provides warmth, protection and familiar security. Like the faded jeans, for some unexplainable reason this quilt just gets more precious in time as each patch fades in color and the thread gets disheveled. Perhaps it is because a new square gets sewn on top of the old patch, or the thread gets reinforced with new thread, and more patches are added to its borders to accommodate the ever-growing need for this heirloom to provide security to a scared child, warmth to an aging parent or protection to lay upon the ground as families sit on the park to watch the 4th of July fireworks. With each patch is a breadth of experience so personal and meaningful to us.
We each make a quilt of our own lives. I added several patches on mine when I returned to school after 32 years of being outside school walls. It was a steep learning curve as I had to learn through a blended format of technology and didactics that was different from how I learned traditionally. Balancing my roles as a mother, wife, caregiver to my aging mother, part-time nurse and other tasks was very challenging, but I also knew that being an educator is the ultimate point in my 32 years of nursing practice. I embarked on a personal quest for 2 years and I look back with gratitude for my personal growth and opportunities that became closer to my reach.
Patricia Benner’s Carnegie and Institute of Medicine Reports call for nurse experts to provide quality and safe patient care to a diverse population within a complicated health care system. How do we heed such clarion call when we are at different seasons in our lives? We could do this at our own time and pace, espousing the same purpose and heading towards one goal. Just like a beautiful quilt that stands the test of use and time, we each contribute a patch or two to the ever-growing UPNAAI quilt. Each one adds color and diversity and is part and parcel of the overall design and purpose of the quilt. As we increase our knowledge not just in nursing but in other areas of our lives, we propel ourselves towards a trajectory that could only forge us forward and upward. We enrich one another’s life and those around us when we are ‘united in our quest for growth’ and act as one as we serve and truly be the change agents that UP meant for us to become.