I am a black woman, born and raised in North Carolina. I am a Registered Nurse and hold a BSN from XXXX College of Nursing. I am employed as a nurse with the North Carolina Department of Corrections. I have thoroughly enjoyed my nursing experiences to date which have been very wide ranging. I regard nursing as more a vocation than a career choice and feel privileged to have been able to fulfill it. However various events and situations in my career and life have strongly persuaded me that I would be most useful to the community if I were to become a specialist in psychiatric nursing.
I enjoyed my psychiatric rotation during training but did not then consider adopting this specialty. However when I was working in a female crisis unit as an RN, I witnessed an APNP called Cindy interact with a young, pregnant, suicidal patient. I was filled with admiration at what I saw. This wonderful nurse was very calm, confident and compassionate. She listened to the patient’s story, reached out to her and, over time, literally saved a life. I was privileged to become a friend of this nurse who explained her role and provided me with insights about psychiatric nursing that have been of great value to me. Subsequently I suffered post natal depression myself and the whole issue of mental well being became a more personal matter. As a naturally optimistic and cheerful person, mental ill-health had been something of a mystery to me until this point but this episode has provided me with a capacity for genuine empathy with others dealing with mental health issues which is invaluable.
I work as an RN with the NC Department of Corrections. I see many people with mental health problems and participate in programs relating to suicide prevention, crisis intervention and monitoring patients for medication compliance and side effects. Being exposed to so much distress and mental ill-health has crystallized my decision to specialize. However I see my future in a different setting.
As a military spouse, I am very aware of the, sometimes hidden, stresses suffered by service members, their spouses and their families. Anxiety, depression, substance abuse, family violence and suicide rates are far higher in a military environment than in the general population and there are insufficient specialists in this area of expertise. It is my ambition to become an active duty Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner in an inpatient unit, mental health clinic, alcohol/drug rehabilitation and/or combat stress unit. It is my fervent hope to acquire the knowledge and skills to enable me to assist in this situation by participation in the APNP program.
I am aware that this prestigious program will attract many well qualified applicants, however I strongly believe that I have the commitment, enthusiasm and experience to excel in it and to ‘add value’ to my class. I have carefully considered the characteristics and traits required of an excellent psychiatric nurse and I am confident that I possess them, not least in knowing the value of a smile.