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Nursing student feels calling to help those in need

By Andrew Goodell | Emory Report | May 8, 2019

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Tai Ingram, the Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing’s Anne MacGregor Jenkins Scholar, knew nursing was her calling when she helped care for a close family member during her terminal illness.

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Tai Ingram knew that nursing was her calling when a close family member was diagnosed with a terminal illness.

“I helped care for her in the final weeks of her life,” Ingram recalls. “I was, in a sense, being a nurse.”

Ingram, who is from New Orleans, completed her first two years in Emory College of Arts & Sciences, where she fulfilled the prerequisites for the Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) program and occasionally contemplated whether nursing was the right path for her. After her loved one’s death, she knew.

Selected as the Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing’s Anne MacGregor Jenkins Scholar, Ingram praises the nursing faculty for supporting and inspiring her. The professors each bring their individual passions into the classroom, exposing her and her peers to the field of nursing that exists beyond the bedside.

Ingram’s adviser, assistant clinical professor Linda Grabbe, has greatly influenced her experience in the School of Nursing. Ingram says she has been inspired by Grabbe’s dedication and passion for providing care to vulnerable populations.

“She truly embodies the spirit of nursing and I wish to follow in her footsteps to serve those in need and to impact just as many lives,” Ingram explains. 

The most rewarding part of nursing school, she says, was the opportunity to see the many roles nurses play, far beyond just clinical care.

“Through my clinical rotations, I truly witnessed the impact that nurses have in providing care to patients. Beyond the typical nursing care, they provide a listening ear, a hand to hold and a voice for those they serve,” Ingram says. “They truly make a difference.”

The second most rewarding part? “Finishing,” Ingram responds. “When I first began in the BSN program, a professor told me that this would be one of the most difficult things I’ll do in life. She was absolutely right.” 

In addition to her studies, Ingram made time to serve as a student ambassador for the School of Nursing.

“Being an ambassador gives me the opportunity to occasionally escape from the academics while still being involved in all things nursing,” she explains. “Representing the school enables me to share my honest perspective on what being a nursing student at Emory is really like; I get to reflect on and share the challenges and the rewards with prospective students, as well as alumni.”

After graduation, Ingram will return to New Orleans to begin her nurse residency program.