On episode 314 of The Nurse Keith Show nursing and healthcare career podcast, Keith interviews Roosevelt Davis, MSN, RN, a former college football star who chose to give up his original dream of playing for the NFL and instead serve society as a different kind of superstar: a registered nurse in the pediatric CVICU.
Roosevelt is a thoughtful, genuine, brilliant, insightful, and passionate young man who loves caring for pediatric ICU patients and their families at Children’s Hospital of Orange County. In the course of this fascinating conversation with this brilliant young man and nursing professional, Keith and Roosevelt discuss football, nursing, the Black Lives Matter movement, COVID-19, and much more.
Keith first met Roosevelt Davis when he was nominated by his supervisors to be interviewed by Keith for a cover story for Working Nurse Magazine, a publication for which Keith has written since 2009. In that interview, Roosevelt said the following about pivoting from football to nursing during his college career:
“As an African American man and a football player, I was honestly really scared the first day I walked into that classroom. I was one of three African American men and a handful of African American women in a class of 70, and there was a total of about ten men overall.
“I was so afraid of being different than everybody else. On a football team, you’re around people you know and who know exactly what you do because you play the same game and share a common goal. In nursing school, I was the only person coming from playing football into a profession that was very uncommon for people like me.
“But very quickly I realized that my cohort of fellow students welcomed me without any judgment, and now I have friends for a lifetime. They loved my different background in football because I brought a different flavor that the students embraced. They actually loved my story of being an athlete.
“For one of my first projects during that initial semester, I was able to use my experience in football to get an A. It was a group project based on concussions, and my athletic trainer was featured in it. They loved it, and it brought together sports and nursing, two things I loved.
“During nursing school, I was looking at pediatric or adult ER or ICU, but I totally fell in love with working with children. I always liked pedi and was so drawn to kids’ natural resilience. I had one rotation in PICU where I took care of a very sick 14-year-old girl, and that’s when I knew I wanted to work in the ICU with children.”
For those seeking inspiration about becoming or being a nurse, look no further than this conversation with inimitable Roosevelt Davis.
Connect with, and learn about, Roosevelt Davis, MSN, RN:
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