A Family Member’s Medical Journey motivates Student to become a Nurse

A Family Member’s Medical Journey motivates Student to become a Nurse

Thomas Lu, Duke School of Nursing (DUSON) ABSN student, said his motivation to become a nurse was deeply rooted in the firsthand experience of accompanying his sister throughout her cancer diagnosis and treatment journey.


The frequent visits to the hospital exposed Lu to the challenges and emotional toll that patients and their families face. What stood out during those difficult times the most was the remarkable dedication and empathy displayed by the nurses. 

“Observing the nurses in action, I was deeply inspired by the genuine care and positive energy they brought to my sister's care. Their ability to provide not only medical expertise but also emotional support left a lasting impression,” Lu said.  “It became clear that being a nurse was more than a profession; it was a calling to make a meaningful impact on the lives of individuals facing health challenges.”

Lu recalls the desire to be directly involved in patient care, to offer comfort and support during vulnerable moments, and to contribute to the well-being of others became the driving force behind the decision to pursue a career in nursing. 

“This personal connection and the admiration for the compassionate care provided by nurses became the foundation for my aspirations in the healthcare field,” Lu said.

He said he chose DUSON because its commitment to advancing health equity and social justice aligns with my his passion for addressing health disparities. Lu mentions experiencing health disparities firsthand, motivated him to seek an institution that goes beyond traditional healthcare delivery, and Duke's focus on transformative excellence in education, clinical practice, and nursing science resonates with his goal to contribute to overall change in

“Duke's emphasis on innovation and inclusiveness aligns perfectly with my vision to
address social inequity in healthcare, making it the ideal place for me to further my education
and contribute meaningfully to the nursing profession,” Lu said.

When it comes to the “Duke experience,” Lu said it has nothing short of phenomenal. “The opportunity to be part of a cohort filled with kind and open-minded individuals who share the same passion for nursing has created a supportive and collaborative learning environment,” Lu said. “The educators and staff at DUSON have played a pivotal role in making this experience exceptional. Their commitment to providing a positive and flexible learning environment is truly remarkable.”

Lu feels that the dedication of the educators to enhance knowledge and create a safe space for learning is evident in every aspect of the program and their passion for nursing education shines through, making the entire learning journey both enriching and fulfilling. 

“Being halfway through my nursing journey at Duke, I am excited about the progress made and the prospect of continuing this incredible journey,” Lu said. “The sense of community, the exceptional educators, and the commitment to excellence have all contributed to an enriching and transformative experience at DUSON.”

Lu said he looks forward to the opportunities and challenges that lie ahead and is confident that his time at Duke will continue to shape him into a competent and compassionate nurse.

Upon graduation, his plans are open with a potential interest in practicing in a new
state to explore different experiences. “However, my ultimate goal is to return to California,
where my friends and family are, to establish my nursing career,” Lu said.


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