Nursing Student Seeks Bilingual Dream Job

College of Health and Human Services, College of Liberal Arts

For William Harris, deciding what he wanted to do was sin esfuerzo (effortless). As a double major in nursing and Spanish, he took every opportunity to study abroad and gain all the practical experience he could.

“There is no better way to learn a foreign language then studying abroad “en el extranjero.” I studied in Mexico where I can honestly say I learned more Spanish in the one semester than I had in the last three years. I dove face first into a total immersion program in which no one spoke English. By far, studying in Mexico was one of the best times in my life.” Through his travels, he says he “learned how there are many differences among Spanish speaking countries. For example, accents and word choice varies.” In Spain, vosotros is the plural of the subject “you,” but in Latin America and Mexico, ustedes is used instead.

His travels gave William the skills practice to succeed in life. “My ultimate dream job is to be a bilingual nurse in an emergency room and possibly obtaining a masters degree in advanced practice nursing to work as a certified registered nurse anesthetist or a family nurse practitioner.”

William plunged into student organizations, as well. As a member of Phi Eta Sigma and Alpha Mu Gamma, treasurer of the Spanish Club, vice-president of Missouri Nursing Students’ Association (MONSA), and president of the Student Nurses’ Association (SNA), William highly supports extra-curricular activities. “Above all, get involved with organizations on campus to help you network and develop leadership skills for your future career.” Through the SNA, he received the opportunity to travel and network with other nursing students across the state; “I made long lasting friendships in all parts of Missouri.”

William describes himself as “fun, eager to meet new people, and outgoing. I try not to let the stress of being in the nursing program run my life.” He spends what free time he has working in the local emergency room, further practicing his patient care skills, and volunteering with the American Red Cross. The Jackson native also enjoys touring the local wineries, spending time with friends, and would love to continue traveling around Latin America: Peru, Panama or Costa Rica.

William credits Southeast and dedicated professors, who actually care about the subjects they are teaching, with improving his leadership capabilities and making him a stronger public speaker. These skills find a home in any career. He also feels, “the dedication and passion I witnessed in the classroom made me want to perform academically at my highest capacity.”


Crisp Hall 132
College of Health & Human Services
One University Plaza, MS 8000
Cape Girardeau, Missouri 63701