Vietnamese Nurse, Entry Level Master's , California Heart Associate

Updated: Jul 28

I decided to become a nurse because of the profound impact made on me by the nurses who cared for my grandfather in the hospital. Several years after immigrating with my family to the USA from Vietnam, my grandfather was rushed to the hospital with end stage appendicitis. My English being by far the best of anyone in my family, I found myself immediately called upon to translate an avalanche of medical terms to my frightened and anxious family. When the doctors came into the waiting room and said that my grandfather was now in a medically induced coma, I was at a loss for words. Noticing my shock and the anguish written on my face, one nurse, in particular, took it upon herself to comfort and support me, helping me to better understand what was happening to my grandfather so that I could convey the information clearly to my family. My grandfather remained in a coma for three days and faced a long recovery, but the nurse was always there to provide clarity and comfort during the most difficult moments. Her kindness inspired me to become a nurse; I will always strive to follow her example of compassion. My grandfather was always a champion of me pursuing a career in nursing.

Immigrating to the USA from Vietnam at the age of 19 was the most significant single event in my life. Adjustment during my first years of college was difficult; but the love and support that I received from my family helped me to meet the practical challenges. When I was struggling in organic chemistry, my grandfather would encourage me and tell me to fight on until I reached my goal. That persistence not only earned me an A, but it also resulted in my being given a position working in an organic chemistry laboratory. For three years in the laboratory, I mastered tools, techniques, and ideas that would have terrified and confused me just a few semesters before. My research experience helped me to become much more knowledgeable about drug discovery, synthesis, and evaluation, particularly with respect to new chemicals to slow the progression of Alzheimer’s disease. I have become familiar with many facets of the health care community and have become proficient in basic scientific technique and practice.

I see the heart of nursing as forming a human connection with each patient, so that they can feel safe, informed, and cared for. I want to be a nurse because I love patient-centered care, and I live for bringing comfort and reassurance to the patient who needs it most and when they most need it. Recently, I was able to provide that reassurance to a patient who had survived cancer by having a mastectomy. I was preparing to perform an electrocardiogram when she began to apologize for her “ugly” breast with tears in her eyes. My response was sheer empathy just like the nurse in my grandfather’s waiting room, something that I have now intentionally and assiduously cultivated in a thousand small ways over the course of the last couple of years. Seeing life coming into her eyes as she realized that she was safe, valued, and cared for, gives so much inspiration as I prepare for my graduate education in nursing. My years of study as a Chemistry major and work in the medical community along with observing especially compassionate and intelligent nurses, gives me the confidence that I will be able to excel in your program.

Humility and hard work are my greatest strengths, especially when combined with compassion and a love for the weak, unfortunate, and downtrodden. As a woman who is not just of Vietnamese origin, but someone ‘from’ Vietnam, coming here at the age of 19, I am able to relate especially well to those patients who were also born and raised in a foreign land. I am convinced that this helps me to gain the confidence of many of my patients, especially but not exclusively Asians. I love California and cannot imagine living anywhere else, especially because of the rapidly increasing population of Vietnamese immigrants. I feel called to help other Vietnamese immigrants, in particular, as a volunteer, because of the cultural and linguistic bonds we share.

I hope to bring extensive experience as well as enthusiasm to your MSN Program at XXXX University (XXU), since I have been working in the medical field for several years as a certified medical assistant (CMA). I have also volunteered extensively in nursing homes, hospitals, and research labs helping me to see the complexity of nursing issues from a variety of different perspectives, preventive, holistic, etc. I very much enjoy getting to know my patients well beyond their diagnosis. I want to know their history, stories, and the difficulties they encounter, challenges, complications, not just the disease in question.

Since 2016, my volunteer service as a California Heart Associate at the XXXX Memorial Hospital has inspired me with confidence in my technical abilities operating sophisticated diagnostic and monitoring equipment. As an immigrant myself, I am especially passionate about providing care to populations that are all too often ignored or poorly served by the healthcare system, particularly as a result of language barriers and/or socioeconomic status. I am acutely aware of the difficulties that non-English speaking immigrants face in America and I believe that my training at XXU will empower me to give my very best to all of my patients and to someday progress to the point where I might share in the training new generations of nurses.

I thank you for considering my application to Nursing at XXXX University.

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