By Rebecca Benison ’11
James Taunton ’10 is already putting the skills he learned at the School of Nursing to work as a patient care associate and telemetry technician at Winthrop-University Hospital. He is also studying to take the NCLEX exam, to further his career in the medical intensive care unit. From there, he plans on continuing his studies at Adelphi to earn a master’s degree in education. His ultimate goal: to become a certified diabetic educator.
His unwavering commitment to the field of nursing, plus extraordinary drive and work ethic have rewarded Mr. Taunton not only in the form of opportunities, but also in a more tangible sense. In May 2010, his hard work was recognized as he won both the Justina Eisenhauer Mickiewicz Award and the SNAP (Student Nurses Acting for Progress) Award at the School of Nursing Pinning Ceremony. The Eisenhauer Mickiewicz Award is given to seniors who exemplify dedication to nursing, sincerity, generosity, and kindness to others; the recipients are chosen by fellow classmates. Mr. Taunton shared the honor with Barbara Concepcion ’10 of the Manhattan Center. The SNAP Award goes to a student who shows a high degree of commitment and service to the SON student body.
Mr. Taunton credits his professors with challenging him to learn and grow at Adelphi, even honing his leadership potential. “Dr. [Helen] Ballestas was the professor I could go to for help. She pushed me very hard in class and SNAP meetings,” he says. “She inspired me to create the male nursing subcommittee of SNAP.” SNAP played a prominent role in Mr. Taunton’s academic career at Adelphi. The group hosts special events and conferences, and is a vital support system for nursing students. Mr. Taunton actively took part in events that benefited the community, including initiating a night at a New York Islanders hockey game where the money raised went toward a nursing scholarship.
For Mr. Taunton, nursing is more than a career choice, it’s a calling. “I chose nursing because I wanted a career in which I could help people and not sit at a desk all day,” he says. Originally, he planned on pursuing pharmacology, but felt the work was too impersonal. Instead, he found nursing to be the best match for him.
His own diagnosis and treatment for juvenile diabetes afforded Mr. Taunton a certain familiarity with being in a hospital setting. In addition, he said that having the disease allows him to better serve others faced with the diagnosis by understanding their unique needs not just as patients, but as people.