I earned my MSN at XXXX University in 2003 and hope to return for my DNP Degree with a Post-Master's Certificate as a Family Nurse Practitioner. This will round out my education to the top level, the cutting-edge of nursing science, and provide me with the maximum opportunity to prepare myself for additional levels of responsibility and opportunity as a health care professional here in Arkansas, where I have developed a lifetime research base and focus on issues in rural health and the nursing contribution to health care. In particular, I see my role as improving the access and quality of medical care for patients who suffer from mental illness and addictions in rural Arkansas. Like much of rural America, rural Arkansas has seen alarming rises in certain types of drug abuse and dependencies, most notably opioids, while cuts are being made to Medicaid, which serves as a lifeline for many thousands of addicts. In this context, exceptional opportunities emerge for creative, enterprising, and hard-working DNPs to step in and save lives, serving alongside overworked and overstretched psychiatrists.
I completed the psychiatric-mental health nurse practitioner program at XXXX in 2005 and received the finest education possible in integrating psychiatric care into the primary care setting. Now that I have 12 years of experience under my belt, it is time for me to earn the DNP to maximize my contribution and realize my lifelong goal of at some point mentoring young dual-certified nurse practitioners on how to co-treat patients with mental illness, addiction, and medical problems. My ideal job or position would be the director of nursing in a medical center in Arkansas that provides excellent co-treatment to these patients.
Life has thrown many complex tests and hurdles my way; nevertheless, I see them as the spice of life, embracing challenges with zest; my curiosity, drive, and determination increase incrementally each day I serve. My people sustain me daily, serving in Arkansas's same rural, underserved area. I am a hillbilly myself, my people have spent almost my entire life in this area, and I doubt that will ever change. I have enjoyed more than a decade of service as an APNP providing psychiatric care to patients with chronic mental illness and addictions. This population of patients remains dear to my heart. I appreciate the diversity of people with mental illness and addiction habits and my patients' various manifestations and personal challenges. I accompany them on their journey and try to steer them toward life and recovery, and often we have success, which makes it all worthwhile. However, this is not always the case, and suicide rates are spiking in Arkansas, with drug overdoses complimenting already high levels of gun violence. Each year in America, we lose as many Americans to opioid overdose as in Vietnam. It is almost like we are under attack. I want to serve on the front lines and decrease death rates. I have developed a robust and therapeutic rapport, and my patients understand that I am committed to walking the journey with them and doing everything I can to help them heal.
Patients with mental illness and addictions usually have many co-morbid health problems such as hypertension, heart disease, and diabetes. Unfortunately, co-morbid health problems often go untreated. My current employer opened a 24-bed acute psychiatric unit for adult patients several years ago. The medical providers have been unwilling to provide the initial history and physicals. This has required all mental health patients to be re-evaluated in the emergency room for medical clearance, representing a massive barrier to care. However, I need the DNP for various reasons to treat these co-morbid conditions most effectively. This has kindled my passion and desire for further education and knowledge. Obtaining a DNP will help me develop the knowledge and skills needed to impact the organization and hopefully serve as an agent of progressive change that improves the access and quality of care for patients with mental illness and addictions. Obtaining the Post-Master’s Certificate as an FNP will also increase the scope of my ability to practice, allowing me to treat my patients' medical and psychiatric conditions most effectively.
I hope to be accepted back to XXXX to complete my education at the doctoral level, and I thank you for considering my application.
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