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Support to start her nursing journey: Sarah's story

image of sarah quaye standing in front of duke heart center sign

Sarah Quaye heard about Duke Health's Professional Nurse Assistant Program (PNA) from other students attending Lees-McRae College who had participated.

Encouraged by the support and real-world experience the students boasted about, Sarah applied and was soon accepted into the 10-week paid program, which is designed to help rising junior and senior nursing students flourish in a unique one-on-one clinical mentorship that strengthens students' proficiency of professional nursing skills.

In the summer of 2021, Sarah found herself immersed in a network of supportive nursing leaders and mentors in the 7100 Cardiology Stepdown Unit at Duke University Hospital. During the program, Sarah expanded her skills through inclusive learning. Her summer PNA experience ultimately helped her choose the direction of her nursing career.

"The Professional Nursing Assistant Program is a great platform to guide you on the route to the nurse you dream of becoming," said Sarah. "I had the opportunity to learn through hands-on experience in bedside nursing. I observed and evaluated the routine, workload, and work environment. By the end of the program, I knew that becoming a cardiac nurse was something I wanted to do, and Duke was the right place to do it."

After finishing up her senior year at Lees-McRae College, Sarah began her career at Duke Health in the summer of 2022 — in the same unit where she had the support and guidance of nursing mentors through the PNA program the year prior. 

"The support and teamwork in my unit was a great resource for me, especially during my transition from orientation to taking full responsibility for my patients. You are never alone at Duke," said Sarah.

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