DNP, Nurse Anesthesia Leadership, Doctor of Nurse Practice, USA, American Woman

Updated: Jul 19

I have been a competitive alpine ski racer my entire life. Growing up mostly in Connecticut, usually I would leave and go to Vermont for the entire weekend to train. By the 8th grade, I was in a special 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 of all was traveling to far away exotic places like Chile and Japan to compete, completing my academic work independently until returning home. Ski racing is an extreme sport that requires great physical, mental, and emotional fortitude to compete successfully. My happiest hours growing up were spent in a spandex suit, skiing at 60pmh, 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 the age of 18, and my adolescent dreams of becoming the fastest woman on skis in the world were totally 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, many gravely injured, 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 Taylors store for shelter. By the time I had composed myself to the point where I was getting ready to walk back out to help the wounded, large numbers of medical personnel were arriving from all sides. I had just turned 19 and was in my first year of nursing school.

Needless to say, this experience profoundly heightened my appreciation for my chosen career. I began to reflect upon the ways in which my life so far as an athlete had prepared me well for a career in nursing, particularly with respect to 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 Northeastern’s coop program that allowed me to gain extensive full-time nursing experience prior to graduation. I did coops at 2 top hospitals: Brigham and Women's and Mass General Hospital, serving in a variety of departments. The Emergency Department was my favorite, as I thrive on the high stress, always ready for that next adrenaline rush. I felt most at home while watching the CRNAs perform challenging intubations and assisting them with supplies and patient monitoring. I soon realized and rapidly came to more fully appreciate the way that CRNAs were in charge of precisely those aspects of nursing closest to my heart: especially drugs and airways. I profoundly appreciate 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 as well as undergraduate nursing students.

I am most thankful for the fact 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 find myself giggling as I enter the building. I am anxious to get to work, to see the vital signs, look into their eyes, touch their hands. My floor sees a wide array of patients, some more sick than others, some homeless, some under arrest. I give 100% to all of them. Yet, I am hungry for more responsibility, more direct engagement in the most important decisions. I want power, to help, to protect, and to 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 constantly called upon to help new nurses and to join committees. For example, I was pleased to be selected to be the most junior nurse on our floor chosen to serve on our staffing/expansion committee. Nothing excites me more than enabling people to breathe, intubating a patient for airway protection or keeping them hemodynamically stable during the most difficult OR procedures. I provide the best care that I possibly can to each and every patient, always making the most of my clinical skills, 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 and watching the smooth multitasking and coordination with compassionate focus of the CRNAs impressed me greatly. 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 while 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 re-lived this experience frequently in my mind, channeling the energy that I felt that day, watching the team work together to save 4 human lives from the donations of this unfortunate individual.

Devoted to research as well as practice, my research entitled “Implementing a Moment of Silence: Post Cardiac Death in the ICU” was chosen from among more than 50 projects for presentation to our hospital’s Board of Directors.

I thank you for considering my application to Nurse Anesthesia at XXXX University.

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