I have been a competitive alpine ski racer my entire life. Growing up mainly in Connecticut, I often left for Vermont for the weekend to train. By the 8th grade, I was in a boarding school to facilitate my racing and stayed there through high school. We would ski in the morning and take classes until late at night. The most exciting part was traveling to faraway exotic places like Chile and Japan to compete, completing my academic work independently until returning home. Ski racing is an extreme sport that requires tremendous physical, mental, and emotional fortitude to compete successfully. Growing up, my happiest hours were spent in a spandex suit, skiing at 60 mph, often in the rain, hail, sleet, and snow. My highest moment was when we made the US Junior Olympic Team.
My interests changed abruptly at 18, and my adolescent dreams of becoming the fastest woman on skis in the world were reborn on one fateful day in Boston. I was standing at the finish line at the Boston Marathon when the bombs full of nails and metal fragments went off, sending metal shards tearing through dozens of people, leaving some dead, and many gravely injured, with people bleeding all around me. At first, I just stood there breathing, helpless, in shock but unhurt myself; my first reaction was to run into Lord and Taylor's store for shelter. When I had composed myself to the point where I was getting ready to walk back out to help the wounded, medical personnel was arriving from all sides. I had just turned 19 and was in my first year of nursing school.
This experience profoundly heightened my appreciation for my chosen career. I began to reflect upon how my life as an athlete had prepared me well for a career in nursing, particularly concerning emergency care: constant and immense pressure requiring split-second decision-making with life and death consequences, thinking on one’s feet, and giving one’s all.
I was a good fit with the rigorous program in Nursing at XXXX University and spent five years on my undergraduate education, including a one-year, paid, full-time internship. I especially appreciated XXXX’s coop program, which allowed me to gain extensive full-time nursing experience before graduation. I did coops at 2 top hospitals: Brigham and Women's and Mass General Hospital, serving in various departments. The Emergency Department was my favorite, as I thrive on high stress, always ready for that next adrenaline rush. I felt most at home while watching the CRNAs perform challenging intubations and assisting with supplies and patient monitoring. I soon realized how CRNAs were in charge of precisely those aspects of nursing closest to my heart: drugs and airways. I profoundly understand the finesse required with intubating and the complexity and individuality of each situation. I was chosen among 100s of my colleagues to be the academic coach for our Adult Medical-Surgical class sections 1 and 2, tutoring graduate and undergraduate nursing students.
I am most thankful that I now have extensive experience as a critical care nurse. I see each day as a gift from the divine, the opportunity to help patients at what is, for most, their most vulnerable time. I cannot wait to get to work each day to see my patients, often so happy that I giggle as I enter the building. I am anxious to get to work, see the vital signs, look into their eyes, and touch their hands. My floor handles many patients, some sicker than others, some homeless, and some under arrest. I give 100% to all of them. Yet, I am hungry for more responsibility and direct engagement in critical decisions. I want the power to help, protect, and serve as an advocate for my patients. The next logical step for me is to become a CRNA. I am a leader on my floor and am constantly called upon to help new nurses join committees. For example, I was pleased to be the most junior nurse on our floor and was chosen to serve on our staffing/expansion committee. Nothing excites me more than enabling people to breathe, intubating a patient for airway protection, or being hemodynamically stable during the most difficult OR procedures. I provide the best care possible to every patient, always making the most of my clinical skills and constantly searching my knowledge base for creative ideas.
My dream has always been to be a nurse anesthetist, and I have made a point to observe them since I was an adolescent, visiting teammates in the hospital, mostly with broken appendages. I was quick to take note of the role of pain medication, smooth multitasking, coordination, and compassionate focus of the CRNAs. My profound admiration for Nurse Anesthesia and CRNAs was further validated throughout my shadowing experiences with several different CRNAs. One complex case, in particular, stands out in my mind; observing closely as a brain-dead, soon-to-be organ donor was kept alive and her organs viable - involving extensive hemodynamic monitoring and drug administration - while awaiting the procedure. I have relived this experience frequently in my mind, channeling the energy that I felt that day, watching the team work together to save four human lives from the donations of this unfortunate individual.
Devoted to research and practice, my study entitled “Implementing a Moment of Silence: Post Cardiac Death in the ICU” was chosen among more than 50 projects for presentation to our hospital’s Board of Directors.
Thank you for considering my application to the DNP in Nurse Anesthesia Program at XXXX University.