I see my foremost strength as my full dedication to the nursing profession. I love my job; and those with whom I work always appreciate that I make my maximum effort and give my all, every day. As an undergrad, I was able to graduate with leadership distinction in community service and received the President’s Volunteer Service Award for having volunteered over 250 hours within a 12-month period. Sharing that time and being able to work with others in a service leadership role has taught me how important it is for the community to have a voice. I was able to translate these skills to nursing and be a patient advocate. I will advocate for my patients and the nurses that work with me, knowing how important it is for my patients that don’t have a voice, that their voices are heard. In addition to being a hard worker, I am also compassionate and I take pride in my sense of ethical and professional integrity. I believe that in nursing, you cannot be a nurse without compassion. It’s what drives us to do the best we can for our patients because they deserve the best.
I have identified three weaknesses that I have and I am working very hard to improve in all three areas. Sometimes I tend to be a little stubborn. I am comfortable working alone and I enjoy the capacity of the introvert to be alone, at least in one’s thoughts. Nevertheless, I am always a team player, especially when team members are present, and I am learning to feel more comfortable asking for help. I’ve learned that asking for help is not a sign of weakness but necessary in our profession.
Born in China, I came to America at the age of 3. Thus, I speak some Mandarin Chinese and see this as a great asset for nursing education in multicultural America. Furthermore, I have put a great deal of effort into learning Spanish and I am approaching an intermediate level in this language as well. Improving my Spanish is an especially high priority for me as I have identified this as particularly important to my goal of doing all that I can to assist the underserved.
Probably the single most important life experience during my undergraduate studies was completing an externship with the Pediatric ICU in the Children’s Hospital. That’s when I realized I wanted to develop a special focus on children. My principal mentor, who I met as part of my externship, had been a nurse for over 2 decades and I seek to model her profound love and exhilaration for nursing. She made me want to be the best nurse that I could become and I also very much share her special love for children and Pediatric Nursing.
Another extremely significant experience that contributed to the development of my identity as a nursing professional was the opportunity to assist one of my professors with research at an HIV clinic and to receive a scholarship for doing so. Growing up in a small town in South Carolina just off the interstate, our area is very poor and is referred to as the “corridor of shame.” I got to know many women struggling with HIV - almost all of them underserved - and this helped me to mature greatly in my thinking, developing a more sophisticated understanding of the complex challenges that these women face, at the same time that I made important contributions to this ongoing research.
I have also volunteered for a cooking camp that teaches kids to prepare and enjoy healthy meals, at the same time that they learn and put into practice the importance of staying active. As an undergraduate student, I spent a lot of time volunteering in the Neonatal ICU, helping feed the neonates and comforting them and just being able to share these moments with them when their parents couldn’t.
Becoming a Certified Teacher for Les Mills BodyPump, an hour-long weight lifting class for people of all ages has helped me to grow stronger. Staying fit with weight lifting is something that I see as a very important and an integral aspect of my nursing career, since staying fit helps me make my maximum contribution to nursing. As a nurse, it’s integral that we practice what we preach. We cannot teach our patients to lead healthier lives when we ourselves do not.
Being a part of the Shared Governance Committee for my unit, we meet once a month to plan different events and sometimes make decisions about our unit that affect our patients. For example, when we have a patient that has been in the news, we decide if they should have visitors and to whom their personal information should be limited. We host different events where all the employees on our unit can get together especially during special holidays. We also have celebrations for our nurses who are accepted to graduate school or are expecting – our milestones.
My experience thus far with highly diverse patient populations has helped me to cultivate empathy and understanding as a nurse. I have worked primarily in a stroke/trauma ICU but I have also enjoyed very much floating to all other ICUs. After 2 years of full-time nursing, I passed my CCRN. Now, after 3 years in various ICUs, I am confident that I have enough experience to excel as a graduate student.
I now know more than ever that I want to contribute to children, educating them about healthy life-style choices and teaching them how to manage their illness if they are sick. I see children as our future and I want to make sure they have the tools they need to succeed and live healthy lives. For the past couple summers, I have volunteered at Surfers’ Healing, an organization that takes kids with autism surfing. Many children with autism struggle with sensory overload but the ocean can offer a therapeutic experience for them. For me, seeing the happiness on the children’s faces is priceless. Getting my Master’s in Nursing Education with a focus on children is the next step for me in order to pursue my central professional goals.
I thank you for considering my application.