Nursing as a Lifestyle

For nursing major Madison Zigmont ’21, the act of healing is a gift for both patient and provider.

“You’re constantly thinking about how you can improve others’ lives while simultaneously becoming a better version of yourself,” said the Hatfield, MA, local. “It’s like a lifestyle, rather than just a job.”

“Elms appealed to me because of how small the class sizes are and how highly regarded the nursing program is,” said Madison. “I like knowing that my professors will remember who I am.”

That mentality has propelled Madison through her four years at Elms. As a member of the Student Nurse Association, she works to foster connections with her peers while bringing health awareness to campus and the local community. Academically, she raises the bar as a Sister Nora Harrington honors scholar.

“My time at Elms has ultimately shaped me into a stronger person. I’m becoming more of a leader than a follower, which is a new mindset for me.”

As an emerging nurse leader, Madison is motivated by a deep commitment to patient education. Working with patients is a delicate balance, she said, and requires a mix of empathy and instruction.

“Something simple, like making a patient laugh, can make a huge difference in their day,” she said. “At the same time, taking the time to teach patients about their bodies and how they can be involved in their own health is essential to making them feel valued.”

“I’ve had amazing opportunities in clinicals,” Madison said, “including assisting with two births and observing surgery from ten feet away.” Her advice to nursing majors is to optimize their time during clinical rotations by asking questions and practicing as many skills as they can.

Like many high school students curious about healthcare, Madison developed an interest in medicine after watching television shows like Grey’s Anatomy. But that curiosity quickly grew into a fully-fledged passion when she realized she could combine her love of science with her ability to care for others.

“Nurses are the voices of change in healthcare” she said. “They are constantly advocating and putting themselves in others’ shoes, while spending the most time at the bedside to provide comfort.”

After she graduates in spring 2021, Madison intends to work on a critical care unit to gain professional experience. Then, she plans on earning her master of science in nursing (MSN) degree. Ultimately, she hopes to work as a family nurse practitioner, promoting self-care and wellness for her patients.

“Nurses are healers, educators, and leaders,” Madison said. “The options are endless for where you can work and which populations you want to work with.