Bundles of ironies-A A +A
Sunday, October 7, 2012
SHE likes to play tough, yet she is bound to act with all tenderness.
Her first love was the military but, as luck would have it, she married into nursing.
Even though she has always felt more inclined to hard-hitting activities, she is all the same confident to pull off some soft handling on her would-be patients.
Kristen Erika Pino is a young lady who can easily be mistaken for a bundle of ironies.
She wears a pixie haircut on top of a pretty, feminine face. She talks about wanting to join the military while she has just topped second place in a nursing board exams.
Why, even her first name sounds nothing but girlish.
Erika, as she is called by her friends and loved ones, is indeed a package of contradictions. Anyway, bet everyone close to her would not want to have her any other way. And did it just leak out that she topped second the July 2012 Nursing Licensure Examinations (NLE)? She led 18 other students from various nursing schools in Cebu who garnered the 10 best marks in the recent NLE. She was joined by 11 other students from Cebu Normal University in making it to the list of top-notchers. It goes without saying that she made her alma mater very proud.
“Ironically, I’m very confused because I feel like I’m at a crossroads wherein I just have two options left,” was all Erika could say of her feelings. Be that the case, she is not one to be ungrateful. Instead, she is thankful to have been blessed with such an accomplishment.
To say that the news initially came in as a sweet surprise might prove to be an understatement because as she puts it, “At first, everyone was ‘shocked’! And then happy.” But she was on the right track to hope because she worked hard for it.
Recalling her student life, Erika has not always been the classic achiever type. She would even go as far as classifying herself a late bloomer. She may not win medals all the time, but she has always managed to get into the top 10 percent of the graduating class.
After four years of intensive nursing study, she did not stop pushing herself to learn as much as she could during the nursing review class. Not surprisingly, she topped a mock board exam, though she was not sure what to make of her feelings then. If anything, it only made the pressure she felt rise a notch higher as she told herself:
“If I was able to top the mock board, I should be able to top the board exam.”
She was all doubt and was on the verge of accepting defeat after the first day of exam when a message from her adviser, who quoted a passage from the Bible, helped turn her attitude around. She then told herself: “If I should lose everything else, I should not lose my faith in God. Even if I lose my faith in myself, I should not lose my faith in the Lord.”
Fortunately, her conviction did not disappoint her and neither did she disappoint anyone. It also paid well for her to have all the months of hard work and support from mentors, friends and family.
Being a new registered nurse, Erika was all ready to equate a nurse to a successful person, whom she defines as “someone who prioritizes the needs of other people without necessarily satisfying his own needs first.” She continues to say that “wherever a nurse is, he will always attend to the needs of others first whether he is in the academe or in the hospital or in the rural areas.”
Now, that gives us a glimpse of what Erika would be like when she finally decides to practice nursing, which she likes to refer to as “a really unique profession in which you can be logical and compassionate at the same time; like a mix of both worlds and it’s very nice.”
Erika has lived her 20 years by a cornerstone that when she decides on something, she has to consider if it is in God’s will, and if she has the capability to endure it all. And if she thinks she cannot do it, then she has to make herself do it—that is if she really wants it.
Currently, Erika works as a call center agent, but it does not mean she will be forever there. She wants to practice nursing, but the only question left unanswered is when she will be ready with all things considered. She does plan to pursue a master’s degree, and she wants to finance her own studies.
Now, for the million dollar question: will she work abroad? Erika was bold enough to avoid being hypocritical about it. She acknowledges that the pasture is truly greener out there but, as she puts it, “In my case, one of my promises to the Lord was that if
He’d give this to me, then I’d practice in the Philippines.”
And with a determined smile, she concluded: “Right now, I feel gratefully bound to keep that promise.”
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on October 08, 2012.