"Children need advocates. They need someone to give them a voice."
UALR nursing major Christopher Pettigrew, whose “dream job” includes working at either Arkansas Children’s Hospital or St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, feels strongly about the role of nursing in helping children.
“Children need advocates. They need someone to give them a voice,” he said.
Pettigrew’s compassion for young people stems from memories of a close childhood friend who suffered from diabetes and, unfortunately, did not always comply with the treatment required to keep the disease under control.
“He didn’t have the resources to manage his disease and he often ended up in the hospital,” said Pettigrew. “I remember I was always impressed with the nurse (during those hospitalizations).”
Pettigrew is one of several nursing majors from UALR to volunteer for the “Love Your School” initiative, a health promotion project aimed at reducing childhood obesity.
Pettigrew said he was drawn to UALR’s Department of Nursing for several reasons, including affordability and a streamlined clinical track that is without equal in the state.
“UALR has a SimLab hospital that nobody else has … and knowing the caliber of instructors at the university really drew me,” he said.
“I knew I could really grow at UALR,” Pettigrew concluded.