There are lots of practical reasons Joel Weinman wants to become a nurse. As a single parent to his 7-year-old daughter, Ezra, he’ll have job security, benefits, and a career he can feel good about. “But it’s more about the passion than the need,” says the senior in human development and family sciences. He moved back to Corvallis in 2001 to help care for his mom, who was ill with Alzheimer’s. Then three years ago, he was there for his father who was hospitalized for four months after a car accident. “Caring for both of them, I witnessed the skilled work of the nurses and how they help whole families heal.” After earning his degree, he will be eligible to apply for a unique 18-month nursing program he hopes to enroll in at either OHSU or Linfield in 2010.
Joel has always been curious about kids and why they succeed, especially those who grow with up adversity. Last summer, he did an internship supervising a work crew of 17 to 20 year olds, throwing him into a living classroom. “I learned to respect each person, find their strengths, and figure out what they needed. Mostly, they needed to belong, to be accepted with their idiosyncrasies, and to realize that sometimes you have to do things you don’t want to and there’s a lot you can’t control.” Sounds like good prerequisites for a career in nursing.