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PCNA's National Nurses Week Nurse of the Day: Yvonne Commodore-Mensah

National Nurses Week: May 6, 2014 – May 12, 2014

Yvonne Commodore-Mensah RN, BSN

Yvonne Commodore-Mensah is currently a PhD candidate at Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing. She obtained her bachelor’s degree in nursing from Fairleigh Dickinson University.

Contrary to how many people think most nurses are born, Mensah says she “stumbled into nursing”. A chance encounter with a “Johnson & Johnson Nursing Campaign” poster while in the nursing department was enough to get the ball rolling. Nursing felt like a natural choice because of her interest in caring for the younger children in her family, teaching other children in her community, and her need to ask “why”. Mensah says nursing allows her to combine her passion for healthcare, education, and research.

The best part about nursing for Mensah is the trust and respect she receives from both patients and other health care professionals. She knows nurses have the unique privilege to make a tangible impact on the lives of patients and be there for some of the most life-changing experiences patients have. She says it is gratifying to know that she successfully helped someone out in a difficult time.

It is often hard for Mensah to care for patients that have been admitted with severe health and life issues that she can do little to nothing about. She also says uninsured patients and ones from low socioeconomic backgrounds sometimes have poorer health, and that it disheartens her to see the healthcare system fail the most vulnerable in our society.

One thing that Mensah would like to see in the future is more nurses in developed and developing countries collaborate more frequently to improve patients’ health. She would like to see more APRN’s participate in nurse education and staff shortages in developing countries.

Mensah’s current project is researching how to improve cardiovascular health in the population of West African immigrants in the U.S. Her research includes biological, socio-economic, and cultural determinants of cardiovascular health.