MPIPersona Project
dianaemilia_/EyeEm

Linda

Portrait of Linda
Age
31
Race
White
Hometown
Bridgewater, New Jersey
Now lives
Hoboken, New Jersey
Job Title
Registered Nurse
Income
$70,000
Education
BA (Psychology & French), AAS, BS (Nursing)
Group
Creative Local
Occupation
Healthcare Practitioners & Technical
Industry
Local Health Services
Artifact: Nursing Pin

Artifact: Nursing Pin

I’m very proud to be a nurse. But it also represents opportunity. In my nursing class there were so many backgrounds: 55 year-old men, parents, computer programmers. It was really eye-opening and refreshing to see that these opportunities do exist. If you decide you don’t really love what you’re doing, you can fix it. You can change it. I was stuck with my psychology degree. That would kind of be a terrible life — just to regret what you’ve done and not be able to change it or create a different path for yourself. Opportunity’s really important; it almost lends optimism, you know? If you don’t like something, you can change it.

Proud nurse, caught between hope and hopelessness
“In my heart, I feel like if I just go to work and I do what I’m supposed to do while I’m there, all the good stuff will come. I think the more challenging, exciting element to my life would be to have kids and raise them in a great way. That’s where I see myself. And then, you know, retiring on a beach somewhere.”

America

My whole family is Romanian. I’m Romanian, but I never grew up in a society that my parents describe. I might lack identity because of that. I have a lot of pride in being an American because it’s something that I just understand. And even though I wasn’t born here, I feel American. I’m also proud to be the first generation to eventually have children that will be born American. My dad is very anti-American. When he came here, he believed in the American dream and really wanted to experience it, to have his kids grow up here. He lost his job and now he feels slighted, because he’s working really long hours, not getting compensated as much. When he rants about America, I get defensive, you know? From what he describes, Romania under communism doesn’t sound much better. I get defensive because I need that optimism and I don’t want to hear the negatives. I’m like, “Hey, you brought me here, so stop talking smack.”

Elderly man wearing a winter hat xalanx/iStock

Community

I think I get really upset because the future sometimes seems very hopeless, like when I’m watching the news and there’s a lot of just terrible violence. There’s always somebody who’s being murdered. Or somebody who’s refusing to let somebody eat at a restaurant because they’re gay. You wonder what the future holds, because it seems to be getting worse, in my opinion, every day. Maybe it’s being sensationalized more, but I do feel hopelessness when I think about having kids. What’s their life gonna be like, if this is what it’s like now?

“I think I get really upset because the future sometimes seems very hopeless, like when I’m watching the news and there’s a lot of just terrible violence.”

Government

I went to a Town Hall meeting once. My car got keyed, along with a bunch of cars on the same street. The police didn’t care, so I went to the town meeting. It’s a very small town, so the issues were completely benign, like the fine for serving hot dogs at a local fair without getting approval first. If this is the worst that you’re dealing with, it can’t be that bad, right? But it was disappointing. They talked about uprooting a tree on some rich neighbor’s lawn because it was an eyesore. That was approved. And then we asked to put two cameras in and, no, we couldn’t do that. That would be impossible. I was very upset when I left because I felt like it was my point of view was unheard.

Proud nurse, caught between hope and hopelessness
“In my heart, I feel like if I just go to work and I do what I’m supposed to do while I’m there, all the good stuff will come. I think the more challenging, exciting element to my life would be to have kids and raise them in a great way. That’s where I see myself. And then, you know, retiring on a beach somewhere.”
Doctor's office waiting room sonabeam/EyeEm

Politics

I hate saying this, but I am not that interested in politics. If it really affects me, I’ll definitely learn about it. Obamacare is very relevant, Medicare, Medicaid. I worked at a high-end practice in New York, and you either have to pay out of pocket or have elite health insurance. Otherwise, they won’t even see you. It personally bums me out because I don’t want my impact on society to just be felt by the upper class, you know? I think there’s one hospital in New York City that actually accepts Obamacare. And that’s not fair. There’s this crazy imbalance. I once worked in an ENT office, and there was a woman with thyroid cancer, which is actually very curable. But she lost her insurance and stopped coming. The doctor was upset, because he would have still seen her. But she thought she wasn’t able to go, and she ended up passing away from this cancer. I hate hearing stories like that. I’m very into everyone being able to have affordable insurance.

“There is a stigma about community colleges, but if I had kids I would definitely suggest it. I think it’s a brilliant idea to start off in a community college and decide where you want to go.”

Education

I didn’t know what I wanted to do when I was 18. I started out as a biology major, more because that’s what my dad expected from me. I fell into psychology. But there isn’t much you can do with it. I worked in a daycare, where a co-worker kind of put nursing in my head, how it was a great option because you can do an associate’s degree, go to a local community college and get your degree. I felt like it was something reasonable, instead of going back for another expensive four-year degree. There is a stigma about community colleges, but if I had kids I would definitely suggest it. I think it’s a brilliant idea to start off in a community college and decide where you want to go.

People's feet in a waiting room EunikaSopotnicka/iStock

Economy

Right now, my student loan bill every month is one sixth of my salary, which doesn’t seem that crazy. But it makes you second guess. I was promised this amazing job with an amazing salary. Then, when I actually got out of school, I worked in a job that paid way less than what I deserved. I feel like I’m helping, though. You play a lot of different roles as a nurse: you’re the teacher, the therapist, the health provider.

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