I obtained my Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) from Shoreline Community College in 1986. Since then, I’ve worked in various clinical settings including the operating room, caring for patients with diverse and complex medical issues. With each year of experience, I noticed that my profession compelled me to keep learning, and although I felt my work supported my desire for knowledge and innovation, I realized higher education in nursing was the next crucial step in my career path. I wanted to be better prepared to use my nursing degree to promote social justice issues related to health care delivery. This included addressing health disparities impacting minority populations around my community and beyond.
I pursued my BSN from UW, Bothell and graduated in 2013. I am currently in the Community Health Nursing Master’s Program at UW Seattle, which is allowing me to become active in community settings that are home to large Latino populations, as well as to other racial and ethnic minorities. And as a Latina myself, and a graduate nursing student I feel honored and thrilled to have the opportunity to learn from Latino and other diverse communities about the programs and policies they feel will improve their access to effective and respectful health care.
The CHN program at UW SoN has allowed me to become a stronger consumer of research, which is something that surprised me about my experience as a student. I clearly see the value of research as it relates to improving population health, which in turn challenges me to think about ways I can contribute to gaps in research, especially in the areas impacting minority groups’ health outcomes.
I think my CHN academic trajectory is preparing me to work in multiple sectors, and equipping me with the tools, knowledge, expertise and confidence to contribute to, and lead in the creation of sustainable programs that address health disparities and social injustices.