Nursing Student Finds Inspiration in Following in Her Mother’s Footsteps

Kelsey Draves is a 2015 graduate of the Rutgers School of Nursing-Camden.

Kelsey Draves is a 2015 graduate of the Rutgers School of Nursing-Camden.

Kelsey Draves didn’t have to look very far when seeking someone to mentor her while studying to become a nurse at Rutgers University–Camden.

“My mom is a nurse and has really inspired me to become a nurse, too, because of the way I’ve seen her help people and because of her willingness to always help others,” says Draves, who will graduate from the Rutgers School of Nursing–Camden on May 21.

Draves’ mother, Theresa Draves, is an emergency room nurse and an adjunct nursing faculty member at Rutgers–Camden. It’s easy to see where Kelsey Draves gets her drive and willingness to work hard and contribute all she can to the nursing community.

“I’ve learned from her to take advantage of as many opportunities as I can and become involved as much as possible,” Kelsey Draves says. “She is always involved and I used to ask her, ‘why do you work so much?’ Now I realize that it helps you become a well-rounded person, and it helps you manage your time and improve your leadership skills.”

That’s some sound advice from a successful nurse to a prospective one.

Draves, an Audubon resident and Audubon High School graduate, wasted no time in gaining professional experience during her four years at Rutgers–Camden. She spent time shadowing nurses and working with patients during clinical training at Cooper University Hospital in Camden; had a nursing externship with Inspira Health Network; and was a nursing assistant within the Lourdes Health System, all while balancing classwork, tutoring, and student government, where Draves says she learned invaluable leadership skills.

“My entire experience here has taught me how to work with a team of people from all different backgrounds,” she says. “Rutgers–Camden has allowed me to become a more outgoing person. It’s a close-knit community and I’ve made connections with many different kinds of people and you can’t get that anywhere else.”

Draves says one of the most rewarding aspects of her Rutgers–Camden education was taking on two community health projects in which she helped educate middle school students on bullying prevention and suicide awareness.

“I think I know have a better grasp on how important it is to have an impact on the community,” she says. “That’s a big part of being a nurse. Nursing is about helping people when they’re in a state of need. I like to think that everything I’ve done here is so that I can become the best nurse I can be for my patients.”

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