Anthropology and religion were Benson Wright’s first college majors — subjects that inspired great passion within him, but not a clear career path. As he began to look for a job, Sept. 11 happened. “This event shook the economy and I suddenly found myself with student loans, no real plan, and no career,” he says.
Wright chose to change his course. “My mother is a nurse, and I remember one day looking at the employment section of the paper and seeing pages and pages of nursing ads,” says Wright. “I grew up seeing my mother work a variety of roles as a nurse, so I knew that there was flexibility and opportunity.” He started taking pre-requisites for nursing and entered the BSN program at Emory University in 2003.
Though Wright had planned to stay in Georgia upon graduation from nursing school, his father’s untimely death prompted him to alter his course once again. He made the decision to move from Atlanta to Denver to be closer to family. Little did he know how instrumental his involvement with the Honor Society of Nursing, Sigma Theta Tau International (STTI) would be in shaping his career path from that point forward.
“Like many of my peers, I joined STTI to be a part of the honor society and to be recognized for my hard work as a nursing student,” says Wright. “At the time, I did not realize that STTI would be such an important part of my nursing career.”
Arriving in Denver, Wright contacted the Alpha Kappa-at-Large Chapter president and was gratified to feel so welcomed as a new nursing graduate. His networking resulted in his first job in the ICU step-down unit at Denver Health. When he moved to Chicago a few years later, STTI connections there helped Wright once again land new positions that allowed him to focus on building his clinical experience.
“STTI is the most important organization in my nursing career and provides opportunity and growth for every stage of my career,” says Wright. To give back to the organization that has done so much for him, Wright chose to become a Virginia Henderson Fellow. “This is one way that I can help make sure STTI is able to advance nursing and health globally.”
Wright also gives generously of his time, serving both the Phi Gamma Virtual Chapter as secretary and treasurer, and Gamma Phi Chapter at Rush University in Chicago, Ill., USA, as leadership intern. He was also a member of the Service Learning Task Force and chaired the Member Connect and Engagement Task Force this biennium.