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Finding Our Lane: Nursing

with Hannah & Nancy

In this series, we are highlighting our Seeding Change alums and the fields they have gone into after the program. We believe that we need organizing and change in all parts of our life and work, and that anyone can be an organizer from where they are at.

Two of our alums are currently in nursing school. We share their journey in the hopes of expanding our understandings of social change and finding our movement roles.


Seeding Change Graduation 2017

Can you share about your decision to attend nursing school?

The desire didn’t click until a few years after Seeding Change. Through my previous jobs, I knew that I loved supporting movement work operationally. I wanted to do something more hands-on and practical. Something I learned from CPA with guidance from Linda Lee, was showing practical care: remember people’s dietary restrictions, making sure we have things that people need when we plan events, having food and medication is a form of radical justice. It was important to me to show people this radical care by seeing people and meeting their needs. These past few years in the global pandemic really made me curious about the healthcare field. Growing up, I watched family members such as my grandparents and parents go to hospitals a lot. I was always in awe of the way healthcare workers took care of my family. From talking to other nurses, I thought nursing would be a good way to practice practical care for people and work towards advocacy and universal health care. During my time at Seeding Change I reflected on my grandparents, they did not have healthcare until they were 65, they were able to sign up for Medicare. I think about the fear of getting injured or hurt while being uninsured is something that folx shouldn’t think about. I think about people who don’t get routine health check ups because they can’t afford to or they just don’t go at all. They will have to pay a lot of money for sickness, preventive health care only covers so much. 

Did Seeding Change shape that decision in any way?

I remember during Seeding Change there were a lot of organizing efforts, under the Trump administration there were a lot of potential policies to come out to reduce funding for government resources for healthcare, like Medicare. I was really inspired by the organizers at CPA and the youth organizers. I had never planned an action or supported the planning process. I don’t know how to be supportive, but I really learned how to be a part of organizing. Something to create change or bring attention to an issue was really influential and important to my growth. Seeding Change was a huge part of my decision. 

Can you share about your motivations for pursuing nursing and if you can share more broadly your hopes for building a better world through nursing?

One of my goals is to work in public health nursing. I really want to be able to serve people who don’t have as much access to healthcare. I am still unsure about the population that I want to work with. I wish my Cantonese skills were better, I would want to work with Cantonese speaking people. I’m leaning towards youth andqueer folks, and supporting them to get resources for the care they need. I also want to organize with the California Nurses Association in the future. I know they’re doing a lot of work around universal health care in CA. I want to be part of their work. For patients, politicized health care workers is someone who can see their patient for all of who they are. I attended workshops around practical ways to use the pronouns and using their true name, simple ways like that. To see the patient as a whole. Hopefully I get to create change on a day to day basis, I want to care for people’s bodies and emotional health. I see health not only as an individual but it’s also about their community and their family. 


Seeding Change Graduation 2014

Can you share about your decision to attend nursing school?

Before I decided to come back to CPASF on the youth organizing team, I knew I wanted to be in the healthcare field. I also studied this in school. I knew I would leave CPASF and during my time there, I was figuring out what to do around medical school. I always relate everything back to health: better working conditions and better minimum wage is all health related. Working at CPASF still fit into my journey and gave me a different lens to what a health care provider looks like. I decided to go and coincidentally my first campaign at CPASF was healthcare for all. That was a cool lens to see how involved nursing can be in policy, the nurse union is very strong in CA. I did my research, did some shadowing work and that confirmed that I wanted to do nursing. I developed my skills while at CPASF and now I’m in nursing school. 

Did Seeding Change shape that decision in any way?

Everyone in my cohort had an idea of what they wanted to do, we talked a lot about our role in the movement and about diversifying. Seeding Change really challenged the idea of if you’re not an organizer you’re not part of the movement. At Seeding Change we were always encouraged to explore. Seeding Change opened ideas and made it possible for me and others to be a part of the movement even if we’re not in a grassroots organization. 

Can you share about your motivations for pursuing nursing and if you can share more broadly your hopes for building a better world through nursing?

Nursing is an awesome field, I love the idea of being a patient advocate, being an educator, supporting patients through their journey to recovery and wellness. Nurses play a huge role in that and they’re part of first responders. When there is a crisis nurses have to be able to respond to that. The world we’re building needs healers and people who can take care of others. I feel drawn to those aspects of nursing. Nurses also have a strong lens of social justice, it’s more medical in a way but I still get to do a lot of justice things. My hope in the future is that everyone will have what they need for a life of dignity and connection.