The MSN program at XXU is my sole choice for academic development. After careful research, discussing FNP programs with my colleagues, and indeed soul searching, I have come to believe that no other program can offer me the same breadth and autonomy of curriculum, nor critical exposure within a program that emphasizes morals, and ethics – Christian values – that will aid me in bringing my goals, ambitions and dreams to fruition. Additionally, I was struck by the School of Health Sciences awareness and reaction to current issues and needs within America’s healthcare system. Any school can produce nurses, but in order to step from the podium to clinical practice, there is a distinct need to be completely prepared for the realities of contemporary healthcare service. I find this exposure indispensable for my scholastic and professional development, exposure that SPU will undoubtedly deliver.
I completely embrace the fact that there is more than one leadership method, that there is ample room for improvement in my own style and what better place to learn such lessons than in the classroom, where the consequences of “failure” do not translate into unintended outcomes. It is in the classroom where our missteps can be turned into learning experiences, and in study time, we can reflect on our interactions, integrating them into our own distinctive path.
I have reached a point in my professional career where I feel I will quickly exhaust every path of opportunity and challenge at my current academic level. While I have brought my creativity, love of lifetime learning and heartfelt compassion for my patients to my professional work, I have been left wanting to give that much, and on a greater scale. Earning my FNP will allow me to do exactly that, and satisfy my personal, spiritual and professional need to bring about the amelioration of life to many through quality practice. Undertaking an FNP program is more than a logical progression for my career, it is a natural one, stemming from fifteen years of conceptual continuity in my education and career, a commitment to helping the sick and needy at all costs.
My commitment and success as an RN belies what lies beneath my professionalism. Indeed, I feel it is my own value system coupled with a genuine desire and passion for helping others, something I have felt since I was a little girl, which has been at the core of my success. For me, it is not a case of commendation, decoration, or accolades. What matters more are the moments in time that go unbeknownst to those around us, those moments when a patient thanks us, confides in us, expressing themselves at a time when they are so very vulnerable. That is what truly matters, and is proof we have heeded our calling. It is my hope that all of the patients that come into contact with me leave feeling that they have had all of their needs attended to, as a tot ensemble of mind, body and spirit, and not simply an address of their symptoms.
Proof of my ability to work competently within a “diverse and challenging environment” is evident from my having served with a number of different setups over the years, developing an ability to adapt quickly, and think on my feet, be it in long-term care, sub-acute unit, or a full-service, inpatient/outpatient tertiary hospital like XXXX Medical Center.
SHS emphasizes the need to be able to serve the unique needs of all of our patients, and I fit this ideal well. As an Eritrean American, coming to America when I was just a teen, I have walked more than a mile in the shoes of the immigrant, and feel particularly sensitive to the needs of minorities, combined with a deep respect for differing creeds, and cultures, a reflection of my own diverse heritage; indeed, within Eritrea’s borders, she represents some nine differing ethnicities.
With the level of exposure and experiences I have garnered over the years, I have earned a leadership role in my work, providing for the past eight years, specialized training for precepting new RNs. This experience, coupled with countless examples serving within multidisciplinary medical teams, have developed my own leadership abilities, interpersonal communication skills and more.
The intensity of the program is not in question, to my mind. I feel that I am completely prepared for and expect an intense learning environment. What many call “the pressures of the job”, I find exhilarating and ideal, and have handled within my own, at times unpredictable working environment, as a matter of course. Moreover, having recently successfully completed a challenging BSN program, this will be an excellent and current foundation from which to pursue my graduate degree.
I see myself contributing to the learning environment in three ways: my cultural competency, that is, my ability to communicate effectively with people of differing backgrounds. This is a skill I have developed from having been immersed in the cultures of three countries on two continents, with a well-rounded worldview that has been permanently altered by these experiences. Secondly, with my academic foundation. I feel that my ability to apply classroom theory to practice will shed light on many other students’ own methodologies, as I learn from theirs’. Thirdly, through my own set of professional nursing experiences, I bring with me exposure in the field, and the sets of lessons learned through doing, and not just classroom theory.
Experience in case management alone does not necessarily incorporate all the requisite attributes for a successful FNP candidate. An effective FNP, as well as being clinically skilled, needs to have a highly developed ability to make critical decisions under pressure, combined with an advanced level of knowledge and the ability to lead the multidisciplinary team around them. This ability to lead also brings with it the requirement to understand what needs to be done, coordinate effectively, to practice - confidently - critical judgment as a part of daily practice. Leadership speaks of inspiring a spirit of teamwork, the bringing together of the skills and strengths of your team for the optimum care of the patient.
These past fourteen years have found me working as an RN within a long-term care center, sub-acute unit of two different long-term care facilities, and most recently as a staff nurse and charge nurse within a busy general surgical unit. With each position I have held has come increased responsibility and patient contact. Moreover, in my current position, I have been afforded the chance to precept new RNs, a role that has given me a chance to provide support and give feedback on performance. My latest position has brought me the greatest personal gratification as it has put me into contact with an incredible array of patients, from all manner of backgrounds, ages, and socioeconomic status. This exposure has been invaluable, has solidified my patient-caretaker capabilities, with respect to quickly establishing a rapport and relationship, and feel this will serve me well in my future practice.