While I was in junior high school, my mother underwent surgery to remove a large ovarian mass and she received chemotherapy for a year. I am an only child and my father was stationed on a Navy ship. My mom did her best to protect me from ‘cancer anxiety’ and did so to a heroic degree but I was aware that she was ill and, naturally in the circumstances, she gave me guidance intended to help me in a future life without her and so I had a degree of awareness, short of constant or deep anxiety. Happily, she survived and when older, I began to appreciate how fearful she had been and learnt about the ways she employed to protect me from worry, such as running the water so that I could not hear her vomiting in the night. It seemed natural to me to pursue a career in oncology nursing to care for and reassure patients in the way that I would have done for my own mother. It is a decision that I have never regretted and have found enormous satisfaction in nursing.
I have been an RN for 12 years. I started my career in med-surg. and specialized in oncology, specifically taking care of blood and marrow transplant patients. As my own family started to grow, I decided to step away from bedside nursing and worked as a triage nurse in a call center close to home. There were satisfying aspects to the work such as those that arose on the occasions when I was able to provide advice and reassurance to patients after hours. However, I sorely missed taking care of oncology patients. I missed the long-term relationships with patients and families, being able to ‘make a difference’ rather than merely make a living and the special joy of sharing the celebrations of small but significant steps towards recovery. Consequently, I sought a role in which I could practice ‘hands on’ nursing while having sufficient time for my family and have found this in my new role as a Nurse Coordinator in the Radiation Oncology Department at Stanford. I am very excited at the prospect of serving oncology patients, four days a week, in an outpatient setting.
I regard the program as providing an avenue to enable me to maximize my utility in the profession by enhancing the significant skills and knowledge acquired to date, enabling me to exercise a leadership and training role and to serve my patients more fully and to share my passion, skills and knowledge within a specialty in which treatment planning and best practice advocacy are especially relevant. I am also drawn by the Catholic and Jesuit ethos and the excellent ranking, the facilities and the impressively qualified and experienced faculty. The flexibility of the program and the opportunity to use my working day as practicum hours make the program the ‘perfect fit’ for my purposes. I seek a challenging but supportive academic environment and am sure, from those I have met from UXX to date, that this will be provided.
My goal is to advance current patient care protocols with better data and best practice, to increase patient satisfaction and their care experience throughout their treatments and I am confident that the program will fit me to do so. My chosen specialty often entails creating and maintaining possibly long-term positive relationships with patients undergoing complex treatments. Creating and maintaining such relationships calls for personal characteristics that, I know, are uncommon but which I believe I possess. Among others, they call for very high-level communication skills in explaining sometimes complex procedures in lay terms, the ability to quickly engender confidence and trust and, most especially, for very high levels of empathy and emotional intelligence, which can neither be measured nor taught. A squeezed hand or a smile and a joke are an important part of nursing, and their beneficial effects should not be underestimated.
Now an experienced nurse with a good academic record, my most important recommendation is a genuine passion for nursing and the determination to maximize my utility and to fulfill my potential. I can assure the reader that I shall apply myself with exceptional diligence and enthusiasm for the benefit of my patients and for those whom I shall instruct and lead in the future.
Thank you for considering my application.