Graduated from the doctor of nursing practice (DNP) program in May 2017; Currently studying for both Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) and Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP) board certification exams; from Marana, AZ
Why did you decide to pursue a nursing degree?
I love to nurture and care for others, so I knew from a very young age that I wanted to be in the health care profession. I began my college education with the intention of becoming a medical doctor but chose nursing because I wanted to deliver hands-on care, and I also wanted to have time with my family. I am passionate about health promotion, health restoration and holistic care, and I feel nursing is aligned with my philosophy of health and wellbeing. I embrace the nursing values, including social justice, which has carried over into my special interests and political activism.
What drew you to the UA College of Nursing?
The UA CON has a reputation for being tough, with high standards, and is well respected with top national rankings. I wanted the challenge and flexibility to earn a doctorate degree in nursing practice as an adult learner, while balancing life priorities and responsibilities, including my family and career. Also, I am a native of Southwest Arizona and am a loyal Wildcat supporter, so I was thrilled to be accepted to the program and to now be alumna!
What features of your program are you especially passionate about?
I am especially passionate about the program focus on patient populations that are vulnerable and underserved. I think nurse practitioners are well trained and skilled at serving this population and at adapting a plan of care to their unique circumstances. The program emphasizes using the best evidence to improve patient outcomes with cost consciousness, which is how I believe health care in the United States can be transformed and improved. By improving the health of our nation’s poor and vulnerable through health and wellness promotion in primary care, we can decrease the burden of chronic illness.
Share your favorite memory from your time at the CON.
One of my favorite memories of my time at the CON is getting an abstract that I co-authored with my advisor, Dr. Jane Carrington, accepted to the Western Institute of Nursing Conference this year for a poster presentation. I traveled to Denver with a host of other CON students to present my work on decreasing hospital readmissions, and was so impressed by the new knowledge generated by my peers. Dean Shaver hosted a dinner for students and faculty and it was a wonderful experience to chat with professors and connect with other students. I thoroughly enjoyed it and was motivated to start working on a manuscript for my DNP project to publish my findings.
How do you intend to Build Better Futures?
I graduated with a dual degree as a family nurse practitioner and psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner. I envision using both specialties to provide holistic, comprehensive care to patients to help prevent illness and to help restore health to individuals experiencing physical or mental illness. I plan to use my knowledge and training to integrate these two practices for underserved populations in rural areas. I believe this model of care can improve outcomes for patients and our health care system, and I plan to share the findings of my model of care with the health care community by collaborating with researchers to disseminate the findings. In addition, I will continue to advocate politically for policies that improve access to care and that improve the health of vulnerable and underserved populations. As a nurse, I have the perspective that all components of an individual, including physical, mental, and spiritual, must be in balance for optimal wellbeing and I will endeavor to support the community I serve to achieve this.