Nursing student honored for ‘Kindness and Transformation’ essay


Courtesy of Oakland University

Fourth-year nursing student Sable Zuza receives an honorable mention for her essay on making connections with a patient.

Rachel Yim, Science & Technology Reporter

Sable Zuza, one of the fourth-year students in Oakland University’s Bachelor of Science in Nursing program, recently received an honorable mention in the Hope Babette Tang Humanism in Healthcare Essay Contest.

The contest asked medical and nursing students to engage in reflective writing exercise that illustrates personal experience where they worked to ensure that humanism was at the core of care.

“When I was notified, I was very surprised,” Zuza said. “I really wasn’t expecting it to happen … I actually got an email from the Dean of the School of Nursing, and that’s how I found out about the honorable mention.”

Zuza is currently pursuing her second degree, completing her last year of the Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) program at Oakland University. Her final goal is to become a midwife, a trained health professional who helps women during labor, delivery and after the birth of their babies.

Though Zuza wants to become a midwife, she still wanted to have a nursing background for healthcare training preparation and more flexibility in terms of where she wanted to practice.

In her essay, she illustrated how a gentle approach helped her make connections with a patient during a clinical. 

She included a quote that said, “My hope is that every healthcare professional recognizes the sanctity of the therapeutic relationship, and realizes how presence and listening can transform the health and life of any patient, and make them feel at home wherever they are.”

As a nursing student, she was very interested in seeing the message being promoted in healthcare. She also wanted to share her personal experience where she witnessed transformation in a patient in a short amount of time.

“I’ve always been very passionate about pregnancy, conceptions in labor and delivery, and always wanted to have children of my own, so I was really inspired by midwifery and just recognizing birth as a spiritual right of passage that’s often overlooked in our culture,” Zuza said. “I’m glad that there’s a resurgence of that awareness that it’s not just the woman giving birth, but also her family and the newborn entering the world. And I always thought that was beautiful, so I wanted to become a part of that.”

Using the nursing program as a stepping stone, Zuza believes that it is a great opportunity to have a healthcare base and develop the qualities that are part of nursing. Due to the challenges of the nursing program, she has gone through many obstacles and realized that it was very different than what she was expecting.

“I don’t think nursing is just a career, but it’s also a way of life to embody the values of nursing,” Zuza said. “Just don’t give up, try to stay positive and be resourceful. And if you ever face an obstacle, look for ways around it. Always advocate for yourself and be your own ally as much as you can.” 

After graduating from the nursing program at OU, Zuza plans on going to a graduate school in nursing for her master’s degree in midwifery.