Portrait of Saints of Santa Fe College | Nicolle Davis

Saints of Santa Fe | Nicolle Davis

Santa Fe College graduate Nicolle Davis on Sept. 10, 2021 in Gainesville , FL. (Photo by Matt Stamey/Santa Fe College)

“I chose a career in nursing to help people and make a difference. I had a family member that was hospitalized when I was young and the kindness, compassion and sheer knowledge the bedside nurse showed to my family member and family was amazing and something I still haven’t forgotten to this day.

The experience for nurses has changed since the onset of COVID-19 because the hospitals are being flooded with COVID patients, in addition to the sick patients already admitted.  Nurses are taking on the role of caregiver as well as the patient’s support system because their families are not able to visit. Nurses are having to be more flexible than ever as they are redeployed to other duties and units. It’s an all hands on deck situation. However, what remains the same is that nurses are still here, showing up every day, taking care of patients and giving it their all.  

We all have bad days at work but what keeps me going is knowing I can come back tomorrow and still make an impact to improve care for stroke patients. What motivates me is seeing that stroke patient walk out of the hospital and go home when they arrived to us not being able to walk or speak. What we do every day makes a difference in people’s lives and that alone is motivation enough.  

I chose the Santa Fe College Nursing program because of its good reputation for preparing students for a career in nursing and because the program was still small enough to have a personal experience and not feel lost in a large mass of students.  

There were times in school that I recall feeling overwhelmed with the amount of coursework. I found fellow nursing students are a great, built in support system and SF nursing faculty was wonderful in being supportive and providing additional help.  

There was one faculty member I remember specifically being so great, Tammy Martineau. She was one of my clinical instructors and taught some lab didactics. She was always available for support and kind, encouraging words. But really, my experience was that all of the SF nursing faculty were wonderful and supportive if you needed them! 

After obtaining my ASN from SF, I started my career in the Neuro ICU and fell in love with the patient population and complexity of the brain. I continued to stay in the neuroscience nursing field because it is an area that is always changing and offering new therapies and treatments for patients. Additionally, my own grandfather suffered a stroke, but unfortunately he died from his stroke. I saw the pain that this caused my family and don’t want anyone else to experience that, so I continue to work locally, regionally and nationally to engage in and conduct stroke research and build new care pathways and protocols to help improve survivorship for stroke patients. Stroke is 80% preventable and stroke is treatable if patients get to the right hospital in a timely manner!  

Nursing is such an amazing profession because you get to touch people’s lives every day; you are there for their best days and even their worst days, which is a privilege and honor I don’t take lightly. I also love that nursing offers so many different opportunities to impact patient care and improve outcomes. There are so many roles nurses can fill in healthcare, not just working at the bedside.”  

Nicolle Davis, PhD, RN, SCRN, ASC-BC, FAHA, Stroke Program Coordinator, UF Health Shands 

SF graduate, Nursing, BSN ‘2014