What seemed like a routine conversation with a patient and his wife turned out to be much more for Jen Burkholder, RN.
While on assignment in Washington, D.C., with leading travel staffing company NursesRx, Burkholder found herself as the nurse to a very close friend of 2008 presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton; although she didn’t know it at first.
Having a deep passion and enthusiasm for politics and health policy, Burkholder casually asked the wife of the patient her opinion on the upcoming presidential election and the issue of universal healthcare—something she often brings up with her patients. To her surprise, they were not only supporters of Hillary Clinton, but they knew her personally as well.
“I was so excited when I found out that my patient and his wife knew Hillary,” Burkholder said. “After I explained to them that she was my hero, the wife said, ‘Well you know Jen; you’re just going to have to meet her.’”
The patient’s wife kept her word and was able to get Burkholder a coveted front-row ticket to a fundraiser that Hillary Clinton was speaking at in the area.
Burkholder couldn’t believe her luck. She’s been a fan of Hillary Clinton since the third grade, and even took her most recent travel nursing assignment in D.C. to be completely surrounded by politics.
The issue of public health and politics has always been a passion of Burkholder’s, and her next goal is to attend graduate school to study public health.
The event that Burkholder had the opportunity to attend was the “Generations of Women for Hillary,” fundraiser which brought in almost $1 million.
“It was a dream come true that I had the opportunity to meet her (Clinton) and people who knew her,” she said. “Not only did I get to meet her, but I got to sit at a front-row table and mingle amongst all of these amazing people who have done so much for healthcare.”
The event was much more than Burkholder had imagined it would be since Hillary’s daughter, Chelsea Clinton and her mother, Dorothy Rodham, were also in attendance.
“Chelsea did a Q&A with the audience, and Hillary delivered a speech,” Burkholder recalled.
After the speeches were over, Burkholder had the chance to meet her hero in person, something she never imaged she would get the chance to do.
“If I even got the chance to see her I knew I would freeze up, so I wrote her a card in advance,” she said. “She new my name right when I told her that I was her friend’s nurse and she thanked me for taking such good care of him.”
Burkholder also had the opportunity to take a photo with Hillary and one with Chelsea as well, making this an opportunity that she will surely never forget.
“It was really an amazing experience,” she said. “Who would have known. I was just doing the job that I love, and it was so very nice that my patient was so reciprocal.”
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