PHOTO: Alina Ostapchuk

Alina Ostapchuk

Alina Ostapchuk is the recipient of the National Student Nurses Association Scholarship.

This is Alina’s unique story. I was born in Ternopil, a small village in the Western Ukraine, and three days later my mother died. Because of the unexpected death of my mother, I became a nurse. I truly wish I could have known my mother. I wish I could have helped her become healthy.

I studied hard in high school and chose an accelerated program that allowed me to get my associate transfer degree at the same time I graduated from high school. I transferred to the University of Washington School of Nursing and completed my BSN degree in June 2014. That fall, I began the Doctor of Nursing practice degree to become a Family Nurse Practitioner.

I hope to provide care to patients in rural areas. There is a huge disparity between the safety and quality of care across rural communities. For many immigrants, rural areas are the only affordable places to live. As an immigrant, I am trilingual and I believe my language skills will help me communicate and understand a more diverse population. I believe that I have a real appreciation for what rural families need in seeking healthcare; I understand what it means to travel for hours to get medical care or perhaps, not being able to get care because of the traveling burden. Because of this background, I have a sincere passion to help those in need gain access to proper care.

During my healthcare career, the most satisfying moments always seem to be the simple moments…a simple thank you for making someone more comfortable, a simple smile for explaining a patient’s medication schedule or a simple hug for making a patient less afraid. As I grow into this profession, a profession increasingly complicated by chronic disease, new medications, and new technology, my goals remain very simple. I want to help the underserved. I want to educate the community. I want to prevent disease.

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