Celebrating St. Jude nurses


Celebrate Nursing Week

They are the caregivers equally suited to assessing critical patient data as listening to a patient’s fears. They calm concerns as aptly as they ease pain. They know blood types, allergies and medical histories as readily as they know family members’ names. Nurses work in the heart of health care, and at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital the talent and dedication of our nursing care teams are unparalleled. Here, we share a few of their stories.

“At St. Jude when I’m caring for young patients, I believe in doing whatever it takes—sing, dance, roll on the floor, do silly things—whatever it takes to make them happy. Sometimes you have to go out of your way to make patients feel whole. That’s why I love nursing. It’s not just a job to me. It’s who I am.”

Patricia Upshaw
Post Anesthesia Care Unit


“I have a lot of empathy for the patients and parents because I sat where they’re sitting. When I was a St. Jude patient, I always told people I wanted to work at St. Jude. I wanted to give back what St. Jude had given me and help kids. I love teens, and I often share my story with them. It gives them a sense of hope.”

Jackie Jerry
Procedure/Recovery

“I have always wanted to be a nurse and never imagined doing anything else. When I was a young girl, I used to play nurse with my cousins all the time. All I ever talked about was being a nurse when I grew up. I feel it takes a special person to be a nurse. Nursing is my calling, and I love what I do. I love helping others.”

Jackie Gilliam
Assessment/Triage


“I am fond of quotes, and there is a particular quote that I’ve gone back to for a long time. It really describes the type of nurse that I strive to be: ‘When you are a nurse, you know that every day you will touch a life or a life will touch yours.’”

Melinda Burks
Procedure/Recovery

“There’s a story every day you walk in here. There’s an opportunity to make a difference in a child’s life. I’ve never come to work where I haven’t encountered a challenge a child or a parent was having, and I feel there are opportunities around every corner to help these kids. I certainly welcome that opportunity and try to step up to the plate and do the best I can for them.”

Ben Stanford
Medicine Room