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Desire to help others is the driving force for a nursing student


Decker School of Nursing

Name: David McDonald
Degree: BS in nursing
Plans: Work as an emergency department nurse at Morristown Memorial Hospital in Morristown, N.J., eventually receiving a master’s degree as either an acute care nurse practitioner or an emergency nurse practitioner.

For David McDonald, a Decker School of Nursing student, keeping track of what organizations and committees he is involved in is a daily task. He is so active in campus life that he has to write his schedule down to figure out where he has to be and when for the organizations and committees he serves.

McDonald has been busy. He has served as crew chief for Harpur’s Ferry, been a member of the University Judicial Board, treasurer for the Nursing Student Association and a resident assistant for Onondaga Hall.

As a result, it’s not a surprise he was chosen to receive this year’s SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Student Excellence, recognizing his leadership within the campus community as well as his academic excellence.

Vickie Monticello, clinical instructor, said McDonald has always been very focused in his work. “He remains grounded in his beliefs and values,” Monticello said. “He has the ability to discuss issues or situations and maintain a high level of respect for other people’s opinions when they are diametrically opposed to his own. His enthusiasm, attitude and pursuit of knowledge have impressed all of the faculty at the Decker School.”

McDonald sees his commitment as influencing his view on life. “I think the various organizations I am a part of have taught me different mini lessons and the various people here have influenced me in both my spiritual life and educational life,” McDonald said. “Sometimes I try to do too much, but it’s from a desire to put other people before myself in order to make it a gratifying experience.”

His dedication and desire to help others is one reason he was chosen as one of the seven medical participants to travel to the Dominican Republic earlier this semester to help the poor. “We provided a free clinic,” McDonald said. “It was a very humbling experience for me. It makes us examine our lives and realize how petty we can be. I enjoyed the experience of being able to help the people down there.”

McDonald also has a great support system. “Family has always been very supportive of me in whatever decisions I make,” said McDonald, adding that with his family’s support, the decision to become a nurse was not a hard one.

“It has always been gratifying to help other people and I just think that nursing is a profession that takes care of the whole person,” McDonald said. “Nursing incorporates the psychological, the psycho-social and spiritual self, not just medical.”

McDonald does not plan to slow down. He hopes to receive various certifications in critical emergency nursing and trauma nursing, along with a master’s degree as an acute care nurse practitioner or emergency nurse practitioner. “I am very motivated,” he said. “I am a very compassionate and caring person and enjoy being able to help people.”
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Last Updated: 10/14/08