Dana Connolly is honored to have received the Miriam M. Powell Scholarship. She graduated from the UCLA School of Nursing as an undergraduate in 2013 and worked as an ICU and emergency nurse at UCLA before deciding to return to UCLA’s Family Nurse Practitioner Master of Science Degree. Beyond her goal of providing excellent, evidence-based primary care and disease management to patients as an APRN, she wants to use a graduate-level education to become a leader in improving healthcare among marginalized communities in California, as well as an advocate for equality in global health. Scholarship support will assist her in accomplishing this goal, as she supports myself through graduate school.
Dana was drawn to nursing because she wanted to help people live their lives to the fullest. She loved how nursing helps patients achieve health from a holistic perspective. It was her nursing and volunteer experiences that made her passionate about changing the unfair burden of disease on people living in poverty. Beyond the walls of a hospital, many external factors are influencing the health and lives of patients. Violence, access to primary care, housing, ability to pay for medications, and stress dictate the health of our patients before they step through our door. Dana has spent a significant amount of her time volunteering to help alleviate some of these external factors. She taught health workshops for teens, assisted at a needle exchange in Inglewood, volunteered as a Referral Coordinator with an outpatient clinic for low-income families, and volunteered as a nurse with Floating Doctors, a non-profit organization providing rural health care in Panama. These experiences have shown her that caring for individual patients is essential, but systemic causes of global poverty also need to be addressed, leading her to seek higher education in order to address its complex issues.
She chose the Family Nurse Practitioner program at UCLA because she wanted a degree that will prepare her to become an Advanced Practice Nurse capable of preventing and managing diseases for individuals of underserved populations, as a well as a leader who will influence systems to ensure better health for our global community. Dana believes her experience working with people of diverse cultural backgrounds, her passion for working with families burdened by poverty, and her empathy for the challenges faced by her patients will lead her to excel as a UCLA Family Nurse Practitioner. Ms Connolly is exceedingly grateful for the scholarship support that will help her to achieve her goals.