Oncology RN and Nurse Residency Program Graduate
Richardson Joseph, RN, BSN, began his journey to a nursing career many years ago. He was introduced to Memorial Healthcare System as a high schooler who visited the ER for medical care. Even at that early age, he was impressed at how well he was treated as a patient.
Richardson soon went off to college, playing soccer at Culver-Stockton College in Missouri. During his time there, however, his mother became ill. He made the decision to move back to South Florida. A short time later, he found himself admitted to Memorial Hospital West. It was there that he met a male nurse for the first time. It was a surprise to him that men could be nurses.
This nurse, Jermaine, talked to him about pursuing a nursing career. “He educated me as to what nursing is. He told me that it was about being a caregiver and a caretaker,” Richardson recalls. “He explained nursing to me in a way I could understand as a young athlete. That it is a team activity, and you have to train hard to be a starter. He allowed me to see myself as someone I was inspired to become. I still keep in touch with him today.”
Richardson had intended to continue on with his college athletic career after coming back to Florida, but instead made the decision to go to nursing school. He enrolled, received a scholarship from Memorial, and did his some of clinicals here. Soon, he started interviewing and joined our Nurse Residency Program in late 2018.
“Being at Memorial has been great for me,” says Richardson. “You have to come in with an open mind and want to grow. The Nurse Residency Program is going to stretch you, stretch your mind. You will see what you learned in nursing school come to life. This Program is here to groom you, to help you understand who you can become.”
“I looked at all of the other local residency programs,” he continues. “But I picked Memorial for the leadership and guidance I would receive. Not only are you being exposed to different units, but you are also being mentored and cross-trained. You work with specialty veterans and they want you to ask questions and learn from them. You gain your ‘nursing instinct’ and learn to trust your clinical judgment.”
Richardson chose to specialize in oncology because of the prevalence of cancer in his own family. He sees it as a way to serve the next generation and understand why certain cancers are so predominant in the African American community. “Each person I see on the oncology unit at Memorial Regional Hospital is different,” he says. “My job is to be present for that person. And I learn from them. It’s like being in a library and every person is a book. They share stories and I soak in that information. I just feel honored to be in their presence.”
Aside from his nursing duties, Richardson also participates on the Nurse Residency Program Committee and the Curriculum Committee for the Program. He wants prospective nurse residents to know that the most important thing they can do is to believe in themselves.
“You have to believe in yourself. You did the groundwork; you have some knowledge. If you believe in yourself, other people start to believe in you too. They will give you more resources and opportunities. I am grateful to be someone from a small island, from Haiti, who has a voice at Memorial and has been so welcomed here.”
You can create your own story at Memorial too. Applications for the next cohort of our Nurse Residency Program will be open from November 19 to December 4, 2020. See how you can join us.