Laura Wagner, RN
A cancer patient as a child, Laura Wagner is spending her life helping children cope with serious illness.
When Laura Wagner, RN walks into the room of a young cancer patient in The Children’s Hospital at Sinai, she knows things you don’t know; she sees things you wouldn’t see; she feels things you wouldn’t feel.
A pediatric nurse, with training in oncology, Laura brings her medical knowledge and years of experience into that room. She also brings something else—something that changes everything. She brings the 10-year-old girl she once was—the one who was held in the grip and fear of leukemia.
“Having leukemia as a child definitely influenced my decision to become a nurse. Nurses helped me get through the difficult times, and when I had to decide what I wanted to do, I knew I wanted to become a nurse, specifically in pediatrics,” says Laura.
Laura knows from the inside out what her patients and their families experience when they come to The Children’s Hospital at Sinai. And because she knows in a deep place inside of her, she is able to relate to them with sensitivity and candor. She is able to hold them in the warmth of her bottomless compassion, to answer their questions, to simply be with them when there is nothing to say.
“As a nurse you are with your patient all day long. You’re in and out of the room constantly. You see what they’re going through. You see parents and children in their most vulnerable state and you are able to be there for them, even if it is just sitting there and listening to them cry or having them tell you how they feel. The nicest thing is when parents tell me that I’ve actually helped their child, or that I’ve made them feel better after talking to them—especially parents who are dealing with a child’s illness like cancer. I can sit there with them and they know that I know what they are going through,” explains Laura.
Laura was not driven to become a nurse by an insatiable curiosity about science or medicine. She became a nurse because she could not forget the power of real compassion generously given in times of most severe need. Because Laura cannot forget the child she once was, countless children and their parents receive the precious, intangible, unforgettable things that comfort them in their difficult days and sustain them through their long nights.