Goals: My immediate short-term goal is to be accepted to study towards the DNP Degree in Nurse Anesthesia at XXXX University. VCU is my first choice for a number of reasons, most of all the sheer excellence of the program. The location is also an important consideration, since my home base is in XXXX. The experience of serving as a nurse at a university medical center has geared me towards a passion for research and nursing education. Lifelong education stands at the center of my professional goals. At some point in my career, I would also love to acquire the experience of teaching, at least on a volunteer basis and or precepting nursing students. I come from a diverse cultural background, half Puerto Rican which helps me to relate easy to populations from all backgrounds. I am looking forward to continuing to enhance my Spanish with a focus on the vocabulary that is the most critical for medical emergencies.
Experience: I received news of my grandmother’s cancer diagnosis while a student in nursing school 3 hours away. Every other weekend, I would come home to be a caretaker so that my mom (also a nurse) could work. I learned a lot nursing my grandmother towards the end of her life and was still able to graduate in the top 20% of my class and join the Sigma Theta Tau Honor Society. I believe that my years at the university of Virginia and my time spent as a travel nurse have built a solid foundation for my advancement to the ultimate stage of nursing, Nurse Anesthesia.
Working at a university medical center, I have had great opportunity to openly ask questions, observe, and work as part of a team with top-notch surgeons, intensivists, NPs and PAs. I have learned how to stay calm and focused when faced with intense, fast paced situations and not allow fear to play any role at all. Working on the thoracic cardiovascular unit came with quite the learning curve, requiring many outside hours of independent study. In this way I was quickly able to become a resource myself for new nurses and staff members. Within one year, I was orienting new nurses and was then given the responsibility of being a charge nurse just a year-and-a-half after moving to the thoracic and cardiovascular intensive care unit.
Work: As both a minority and a woman, I have always been I am a careful learner and applied learning is where I excel. You will have other applicants with higher test scores, but few if any more devoted to their career. Travel nursing up and down the east coast has taught me how to quickly assess the various needs of the community in which I find myself and how best to serve them, flexibility, adaptability. I have actively cultivated and seek to further refine a keen sense of emotional intelligence, dedication, and patience. My years as a bedside nurse have taught me a complex skill set ranging from interpreting hemodynamics, critical thinking, bedside open chest procedures, ECMO cannulations to creating and maintaining strong interpersonal relationships with the medical team and providing kindhearted bedside care to a patient and their families. The part about nursing that I love is being able to connect with someone during such a vulnerable time, making them feel taken care of and achieving the best outcome.
I am thankful for travel nursing for giving me the opportunity to better understand the needs of various populations; something that working at only one location would never have afforded. I have traveled both out of the country and throughout the US on personal trips to see friends and this has allowed me to expand my understanding and appreciation of diversity, celebrating the ways those cultural factors that make the world go around, language, food, music, etc.
Among issues in Nurse Anesthesia, I am especially concerned with the opioid crisis and the way this is having a negative impact on nursing care, resulting in shortages, tighter constraints, and increasingly limited access to those who would appropriately use those drugs in healthcare and especially anesthesia. I see the best solution as lying in the use of non-opioid anesthesia.