Skip to main content

In Focus

Nursing Beyond the Bedside: Caring For My Community

By January 6, 2022June 24th, 2022Nursing Education
Brianna Crooks holding a sign that reads, "Nurse interns can be innovative"

Former New York State Representative Shirley Chisolm once said, “If they don’t give you a seat at the table, bring a folding chair.” Fortunately for me, during my time as an Independence Blue Cross Foundation (Foundation) nurse intern, I’ve never had to worry about having a seat at the table. I’ve always felt included and heard; best of all, the issues I brought to the table were already being discussed, addressed, and prioritized.

My “Why”: Answering a Cry For Help

Growing up in West Philadelphia, I was inspired to become a nurse because I wanted to make a difference in my community. I could see and hear my community’s cries for help — there is domestic and gun violence, illicit drug use, homicides, lack of mental health awareness, and a general lack of health care resources — but it feels like no one is listening.

I want to change that, and my nursing internship experience with the Foundation has provided me with valuable tools and resources as I embark on this journey. Most importantly, it has motivated me even more to serve my community.

My Nursing Internship Experience

During my nursing internship, I gained valuable knowledge about the work that needs to be done to ensure everyone has access to quality health care. I researched and learned ways the Foundation invests in health equity, provided ideas to revamp the Nurses Can™ campaign, and brainstormed solutions to navigate the ongoing pandemic. I also participated in the Foundation’s signature Leadership Labs, and examined maternal mortality rates among black women in Philadelphia as part of my research project.

The Foundation helped me to learn about non-traditional roles of nursing and gave me insight into the important work that nurses are doing beyond the bedside. I’m also proud of the work that the Foundation is doing to invest in the growth and development of future nurses of color to increase culturally competent care in our communities. Now more than ever, our communities need this.

Want to Make a Difference? Apply For a Nursing Internship

Check out these Instagram stories to hear more about my experience and the experiences of other nurse interns. I hope they inspire you to learn more about this opportunity and apply today!

About the Independence Blue Cross Foundation Nurse Internship Program

The Foundation is currently accepting applications for the 2022 Nursing Internship Program through January 7, 2022. The Nursing Internship Program is a paid internship designed for undergraduate nursing students who seek to understand non-traditional roles in nursing.


Brianna Crooks

Brianna Crooks is an undergraduate student at La Salle University, currently pursuing her bachelor’s degree in nursing. In addition to her studies, she holds the position of program facilitator at a nonprofit organization, known as WE R.E.I.G.N (dedicated to serving and providing safe spaces for black girls, within Philadelphia and surrounding counties). Brianna loves to be of service to those in her community. She also loves to spend time with her loved ones and is an avid music connoisseur.