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As a child, growing up in San Francisco, my friends would spend their weekends in front of the TV, or playing in their yards, while I would go along with my father to his job at XXXX Hospital, where he worked as a hospital administrator. For thirteen years, from the tender age of four to seventeen, my weekends were spent tagging along with nurses, dutifully carrying pillows or extra blankets, and when I was older helping patients fill out their menu cards. Summer vacation would find me spending nearly all of my time at the hospital, bringing smiles, company and stories to patients. With the summer sun always filtered out by the blinds, I like to think I was a little ray of sunshine that snuck inside, touching literally hundreds of patients lives before I was even 18 years old.
It was only natural that when I turned sixteen, my medical career would begin as a volunteer at a Free Clinic. I was truly focused, adamant that I would be instrumental in making a difference in people's lives. My passion and drive enabled me to skip a year of high school, entering college to study Health Sciences, enhancing the academic experience beyond anything my school could provide by working as a medical assistant. The increased responsibility and patient contact was invigorating, and I loved to challenge myself to see how I might put what I was learning in the classroom to practical use.
Halfway through college, I was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. I was fortunate enough to see things through the eyes of a patient as well as a healthcare provider. While going through my last few treatments of chemo, my best friend was diagnosed with cancer. Tragically, it was metastatic stage four breast cancer. While I continued going to school full-time, worked part-time, I drove 60 miles a day, one way, to be by my friend's side, sleeping over, acting as her personal nurse, healthcare advocate, keeping her family up-to-date, and explaining things in layman's terms. Somehow, she gathered the strength to come to my graduation. Three months later, she passed away. I feel that if I give the same level of compassionate care every day of my career, her pain, her dying will never have been in vain. If I never forget what her family went through, I will be able to give all that I can to the families of loved ones entrusted to my care.
While I have welcomed each new challenge these past ten years in the medical field, both as a professional and a volunteer, I have exhausted every path of promotion and opportunity at my current academic level. Indeed, I am eager to enter into XXXX's School of Nursing Graduate Entry Level Clinical Nurse Leader Program, building naturally and logically upon my foundation in the Health Sciences. I hope very much to distinguish myself in the accelerated track of your program.
As a registered nurse or clinical nurse leader, I will be able to bring continued excellence in nursing service to a hospital or community clinic setting, ideally serving the needs of many patients that lack the most basic medical care and preventative health care education. My ultimate long term goal is to serve as a patient liaison, mediating for optimal health care between health care providers and patients.
As an African American and a healthcare professional, I have seen a general lack of representation of minorities in the medical field. This is especially saddening to me because African Americans are more likely to suffer from common health issues such as depression, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and breast cancer and yet are statistically over-represented among those who do not have medical coverage. I hope to serve as a role model for other minority nurses. Your program's emphasis on the importance of diversity and cultural competency is one of the reasons that I am applying to XXXX University, along with the breadth, autonomy and relevance of your curriculum.
I look forward to the next chapter in my nursing career with great eagerness. No other field could ever offer me the same level of personal or professional satisfaction, nor bring the same relevance to my life, a life I give freely to serving others. Thank you for your time and consideration.