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MSN, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, Bipolarity

Job Title? Years of experience?

I recently earned my BSN, graduating from XXXX College of Nursing this year, 2016. Since the later part of 2015,  I have been acquiring my first direct experience in nursing working in Occupational Health, serving as a First Aid/ Onsite Triage RN, caring for employees, providing first aid, documentation, drug testing, supervision of employees for Occupational Health Services (OHS). I have also built and managed my own clinic working alongside several associates in a variety of areas. I remain closely engaged with the XXXX Anti Aging Center in XXXX, in addition to my position in Occupational Health.

What brings me the greatest joy of all in the anti-aging business is caring for the skin of those who have suffered from chemotherapy and radiation. I have been nursing people unofficially at the center since 2007; a Cosmetic Nurse Injector, I have made a point to learn everything that I can about micro-pigmentation in particular. As a Reiki Practitioner, I place great emphasis on the importance of holistic care. I also draft assessments and treatment plans with accurate documentation

Work setting? (Hospital, private practice, community health, home health, nursing home, insurance)?

With the OHS, I work mostly in a trailer outside of a large construction site administering drug testing, providing first aid and vaccinations, flu clinics, etc., as called for.  At the anti-aging center my work focuses mostly on weight loss, Botox and Dermal fillers/ IPL treatments, photo facials, medical grade skin peels, assisting local plastic surgeons; we help people to look and feel young, fully enjoying life. I have also developed and continue to maintain our website and blog and ensure HIPAA/ OSHA compliance.

Our weight loss program includes weekly coaching and medication administration which has helped me to develop my leadership skills. Although this is not traditional nursing, I use my nursing skills by providing physical and health assessments on a daily basis.

Degree Type? (ADN, BS, BSN, etc.) Institution? Year? GPA?

Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Chamberlain College of Nursing - 07/2016 GPA = 3.85

Unencumbered RN license in which State? (Where do you reside? Must do clinical in state of licensure)

Massachusetts

Why are you considering an MSN? (accelerated career, salary increase, personal goal)

For me, earning my MSN is a personal calling at the same time that it is a career goal. This is especially true since my chosen area of specialization, Psychiatric Nursing, is particularly close to my own heart. Probably what makes me most unique as a nurse and a candidate for graduate school in nursing is that my mother and all three of my siblings are bipolar, and I have spent my childhood, adolescence, and adult life in constant engagement with bipolarity and the issues that arise for bipolars. I hope to focus much of of my research as a graduate student in Psychiatric Nursing on bipolarity. I am a very dedicated nurse who is committed to lifelong learning and I look forward to decades of excellence to come serving not only in the area of hands-on care, but also as a nursing leader filling administrative roles. Earning my MSN will inspire me to think more creatively and have more authority to speak on behalf of my patients and attend to their needs as a patient advocate as well as nurse.

What factors lead you to this specialty (Adult‐Geri NP, FNP, PNP, Psych NP, WHNP)? What do you anticipate this role will involve?

My first professional position as a nurse was at XXXX University Outpatient Psychiatry. Since that time, I have cultivated a profound and wide ranging interest in nursing care for the mentally ill. Thus, I have my sights set on becoming a Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner so as to be able to evaluate and diagnose mental illness and prescribe medication, giving my all every day to providing treatment to patients who suffer from depression, anxiety and other mental health conditions, particularly those conditions that benefit from counseling services.

Bipolarity was made worse in my family as a result of our poor coping skills. We were in need of help, counseling, and were not even aware of it, at least when I was still a child and adolescent. The complexity of substance abuse also engages my mind born from my heart, since life with my mom involved parties, and the biggest trauma I experienced was coming home from school in ninth grade to find our home sold and my mother moved away with no forwarding address. My parents were already divorced and my father became absent.  Luckily, I had an aunt who became my grounding rock for many years. At the age of 62, however, she shot herself in the face and died instantly.

All of my siblings have dual diagnosis of bipolar and substance abuse. I feel fortunate that I requested to be put into therapy at the age of twelve. As an adult and single parent, I came home one day to a house that had burned down and we had nowhere to live. At that time, I was taking care of my sister’s child who was six months old and born drug addicted.  All of this has clearly contributed heavily towards my passion for mental health nursing.

What did you consider important in looking for a Nursing program? (location, reputation, length of program, cost, etc.)

XXXX College is everything that I am looking for in an MSN Program and is my first choice for graduate study primarily because of my sheer admiration for the sophisticated, in-depth, and wide ranging nature of your curriculum, especially in Psychiatric Nursing. I am very self disciplined and familiar with online education. The masters program at XXXX will allow me to obtain my degree on line, and afford me the ability to learn and study at home as I continue to meet my professional responsibilities. Regis College has the kind of reputation that I am looking for: challenging you academically so that you are able to become a leader in your chosen area of nursing.

How did you hear about XXXX? What does Regis offer that is important to you?

I heard about XXXX through my sister, who obtained her nursing degree at XXXX College and I have also had co-workers who earned their degrees at Regis College.

Are you familiar with online learning? Please reflect on your past experience/expectations:

I am very familiar with on line learning. After graduating in June 2015 with my ASD in Nursing, I immediately enrolled in an online BSN program beginning in September of 2015. Although they suggested two classes a semester, I challenged myself with three classes per semester and obtained a 3.85 GPA and graduated with Honors in July 2016. While an honors student in nursing school, I ran my own business and attended my daughter’s basketball games twice a week in Connecticut.

What are some of your best skills? Please describe your personal strengths/experiences that you can bring to this program:

I am especially proud of the fact that I volunteer as a motivational speaker for a women’s forum several times a year. I excel at and seek to enhance relationship building and the art of persuasive conversation by learning to see situations from multiple perspectives. My letters of recommendation that resulted from my position at XXXX University’s Outpatient Psychiatric used words such as “unflappable” and “compassionate.” Now with over thirty years of experience dealing with people in health care settings, I have learned how to make people feel comfortable in conversations. I am able to work independently as well as part of a team and I am well known for my ability to solve problems in a diplomatic fashion.

Early on in my life when I was employed by the airlines, I held the position of Shop Steward for Teamsters Local 25 and have the ability to see both sides of a story, grounded in my experience as a participant in labor negotiations. One of my strengths is my strong work ethic. When I commit to a deadline, I do whatever it takes to deliver. I am good at finding a better way of doing things if necessary. I have excellent time management skills and I believe that life is all about change and adaptation.

Can you describe a unique situation where you were 1) challenged, 2) demonstrated leadership or 3) exceeded expectation? (Patient scenario, describe conflict and your application of leadership initiatives):

As a nursing student, I was nominated as class spokesperson and honored to be chosen to speak for the class at the graduation ceremony. One of the most challenging experiences that I encountered was standing up to a nurse who attempted to bully me as a student nurse. After speaking with her, she apologized. When I got to class the next day, my clinical instructor, program director, and my professor congratulated me.

During my last clinical rotation, we were given much more independence and I had four patients of my own to care for. Some of the students were unable to handle their own four patients so I was given the leadership position of helping them with their patients while attending to my own as well. I am very good at multi tasking and getting things accomplished. I have the ability to think on my feet while in motion and apply it at the moment.

Where do you see yourself in 5 ‐ 10 years?

Obtaining my MSN will give me the opportunity for advancement, including earning the DNP and becoming a recognized expert in the nursing care of bipolar patients in particular. In five to ten years, I hope to have accumulated sufficient knowledge and experience to possibly mentor and do research to help advance the field of psychiatric nursing. 

What plans have you made regarding the preceptor component of the program? (Particularly important for out of state on‐line program candidates)

I have contacted a professor with whom I did my Psychiatric rotation in nursing school. He is a Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner with his own private practice. I also have contacted another Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner who precepts Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner students.

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