OHSU

Student Profile: Jesse Kennedy

By Christi Richardson

Jesse Kennedy, R.N., RNBS student, spent many years with hammer in hand and a tool belt fastened around his waist. He started out in the family contracting Jesse Kennedybusiness building homes, yet his thoughts often went back to a time before he started working in construction when he was in high school and helping raise funds for the Children’s Miracle Network. As part of the fundraising event the students were invited to the NICU of a local hospital to show where the money they raised would be spent. That’s where Kennedy held a tiny infant in need of help and saw how important nurses were as support for their patients and their families. The impact of this experience remained with him into parenthood, and he often told his young daughter that she should pursue whatever it was she was most passionate about in her life. Finally, Kennedy took his own advice and went back to school to train as a nurse.

Kennedy’s natural interest in helping people made nursing a good fit and his willingness to get involved makes him a great nurse leader. At the request of a fellow nurse and friend, he joined the Student Nurses Association at Lane Community College. From there other doors were opened and he was able to participate in life-changing legislator education and congressional testimony events in Salem and Washington, D.C. These experiences ultimately led him to his current position as President of the National Student Nurses Association (NSNA). When asked what his goals are as the president, Kennedy replied, “to personalize the NSNA through empowering students and providing resources to local chapters to make a difference. I want to reach out to other professionals and work together.”

 

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