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MSN Public Health Nursing NP, Volunteer Experience in Haiti

Updated: May 11

I am writing the following on behalf of my application to study towards the MSN Degree at XXXX State University. Your program is by far the most convenient; thus, combined with XSU’s stellar reputation in nursing, this makes it my first choice for graduate study. I also like very much like the idea of interacting face to face with my teachers instead of doing everything online. Finally, I appreciate the way in which your program is well respected by many doctors and hospitals.

I have been a nurse for over 20 years and have worked in many specialties including home care, medical surgical, dialysis and now the ICU for more than 10 years. What has made the single greatest impression on me over the course of this last decade plus in ICU is the way in which most people die of entirely preventable conditions, such as stroke, for example, if only they had cared better for themselves by giving up destructive habits and sticking to a life-saving regimen of diet and exercise. I hope to excel in your MSN program at XSU primarily on the basis of my enthusiasm for empowering patients to make more healthy choices. I particularly look forward to learning as much as I can about preventive care. In fact, I am applying to XSU’s MPH Program as well as your MSN program and, if accepted to both, I hope to complete both my MSN and MPH Degrees within the next three to four years at XXXX University. I have a long track record in medical missions and I feel strongly that for me to adequately pursue my rigorous long term goals, I need formal preparation in public health as well as nursing.

In terms of medical specialty, I like to think that I have potential in your program to become an unofficial expert in the area of diabetes. I am especially concerned about the way in which Type 2 diabetes is now reaching pandemic proportions among young people with strokes, kidney diseases, blindness, and other vascular complications occurring increasingly early on for those who suffer from diabetes.

I was 25 years old when I left my native Haiti 27 years ago. My first mission trip back to Haiti was an especially foundational or watershed experience that would guide the course of my professional development from then on. Subsequently, I would go on medical missions to Central America as well. I made a point to learn as much Spanish as I could; focusing on the language most frequently used in medical consultations. As a school girl in Haiti I had achieved fluency in Spanish, so I am certain that more will come back to me as I continue to make progress. My medical missions to Central America were also very inspiring to me and I worked every bit as hard as I did in Haiti, often 22-hours a day for as much as 2 weeks at a time.

I have been a nurse for more than 20 years, earning my BSN in 1994. I now have extensive experience in dialysis and for more than 11 years I have been working in an ICU at a teaching Hospital. I am 55 and plan on ‘officially’ retiring in about 10 years. In reality, however, armed with the preparation that I will receive at XSU, I want to give my best only after I retire: to mission work for several decades more. I feel like my career as a nurse is providing me with the platform to come full circle, and return for the grand finale to the land from whence I came, Haiti. My determination and extremely high level of motivation to do this is very much reinforced by the fact that I come from the most prominent of hemispheric epicenters of the underserved; and this was true even prior to the devastating earthquake of a few years ago and its aftermath.

Losing our patients in the IUC to preventable diseases has ignited in me a great and abiding passion for preventive medicine and education. As a NP with a focus on public health, I will be empowered to tackle issues in epidemiology at the same time that I empower through education, raise consciousness, so as to better fight the disease in question, particularly communicable diseases. My ultimate or long term career goal as an NP/MPH is to operate a mobile primary care clinic in Haiti working in collaboration with ONGs and religious institutions. Primary care is almost nonexistent in the Haitian countryside and I am most excited about the prospect of how many lives we might be able to save with such an operation.

I grew up watching people travel by bike, mule, car, or on foot for many kilometers in order to get to a clinic—often hundreds of kilometers in order to stand in line for hours to see a foreign doctor. Being accepted into your program will enable me to give the rest of my life to do everything that I can to change this, to train and equip more Haitians as caregivers to help their own people as nursing professionals. As the oldest of seven children, I learned at a young age the difficult task of caring for young siblings with health issues ranging from minor illnesses to the sickle cell disease which attacked my youngest brother. Learning about the pathophysiology of disease processes along with caring for them eventually led me to the nursing profession.

As a nurse, I have been exposed to a wide array of diseases, and disease processes that have forged my foundation for understanding the most complex and diverse aspects of critical care nursing. As my nursing career moves forward, my nursing goals and outlook have shifted to new heights and I seek to increase my nursing and scientific acumen so that I can achieve greater autonomy and responsibility, maximizing my contribution to my society as a public health nursing professional.

I thank you for your consideration of my application.

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