“Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, Nothing is going to get better. It's not.”
The Lorax by Dr. Seuss
Melanie Whitehead, BSN ʻ07, RN, draws inspiration for her nursing career and her life from those words written by Dr. Seuss. She has already instilled the importance of caring in her two toddler boys, having read the book and watched the movie with them countless times. Whitehead is also trying to instill caring in the nursing students she mentors as lab manager with Drexelʼs Nursing Academic and Clinical Support Services. “I feel I have a unique perspective,” she says. “I can understand exactly what theyʼre going through because I was here 13 years ago.”
A TANGIBLE WAY TO HELP PEOPLE
Caring for others first led Whitehead to earn an undergraduate degree in psychology at Messiah College. She then enrolled in Drexel innovative Accelerated Career Entry (ACE) program at the College of Nursing and Health Professions, which enabled her to transfer credits and graduate in 2008 with a BSN in just 11 months.
“I wanted to do something more tangible to help people,” Whitehead says. “I still enjoy psychology and being able to help people in that way. But now, I want to be able to help them physically as well.”
HELPING OTHERS DISCOVER THEIR PURPOSE
Whitehead returned to Drexel in 2012 after working as a nurse for three-and-a-half years in the intensive care nursery at Jefferson Hospital. She is considering becoming a nurse practitioner to incorporate her psychology background in her work. For now, Whitehead is pursuing her master’s in nursing at Drexel, with an eye toward teaching and helping nursing students discover their purpose.
“I believe I can make an impact on future nurses by sharing my personal and professional experiences and passions with them,” Whitehead says. “I care enough to show them it’s made an impact on me.”