I knew that I wanted to be a nurse from a very young age. I was a sophomore in high school when I shadowed my cousin, a nurse practitioner, for a day. I was inspired by his combination of passion for patients as well as his medical knowledge. I knew nursing was perfect for me because it focused on the person and not just the disease.
Soon after, I enrolled at the University of Pennsylvania's School of Nursing. The curriculum was challenging, but I loved every minute of it. My colleagues and professors always pushed me to do better and I thrived under their guidance. While there, I had the opportunity to be elected to and serve as a member of the Board of Directors of the Student Nurses' Association of Pennsylvania (SNAP) as both secretary and then president. During my elected terms, I met and collaborated with other nursing students around the country. Again, I was inspired by their knowledge and drive and knew I had made the right decision for my career.
After graduation, I returned home to Boston to begin work at Children's Hospital Boston in the Cardiac Intensive Care Unit in their new graduate program. This was another major challenge in my career. The orientation was grueling, but well worth it. I have the opportunity to combine knowledge with intimate patient care. I continued to develop my fledgling practice and adapted to this intense new environment.
In 2006, I enrolled at Boston College to pursue my master's degree in nursing with a concentration in pediatrics. I integrate my new practice with my continuing education. Boston College has given me more tools to use in my practice and have helped to expand my knowledge base for my patients. I have begun to grow as a novice nurse practitioner.
While going to school part-time, I also developed myself as a nurse full time. I have become involved in educating staff through presentations and orientation classes. I have also begun teaching new nurses who are in the same shoes I was in just a few years ago. I have also become certified in Pediatric Advanced Life Support (PALS). In 2008, I became a Certified Critical Care Registered Nurse (CCRN).
As I enter my last year in school, I look at the bright future I have in front of me. I am excited to continue to mold myself into the nurse practitioner I want to be. I look forward and feel honored to have all of the opportunities I have been given thus far. I cannot wait to see what is next for me.