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 very wide-ranging nursing experiences. 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 convinced me that I would be most beneficial to the community if I became a psychiatric nursing specialist.
I enjoyed my psychiatric rotation during training but did not consider adopting this specialty. However, as an RN working in a female crisis uni, 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 postnatal 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 a mystery to me until this point. Nevertheless, 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 XXXX 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 in this area.
As a military spouse, I am aware of the sometimes hidden stresses of service members, their spouses, and their families. Anxiety, depression, substance abuse, family violence, and suicide rates are far higher in a military environment. There are insufficient specialists in this area of expertise. I aspire to become an active duty Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner in an inpatient unit, mental health clinic, alcohol/drug rehabilitation, and combat stress unit. I hope to acquire the knowledge and skills to enable me to assist in this situation by participating in the APNP program.
I am aware that this prestigious program will attract many well-qualified applicants. However, I have the commitment, enthusiasm, and experience to excel and add considerable value to my class. I have carefully considered the characteristics and traits required of an excellent psychiatric nurse; I am confident that I possess them, not least in knowing the value of a smile.