Hello, my name is Alice Mformen and I am a nursing student from the University of Maryland School of Nursing (UMSON), at the Universities at Shady Grove (USG) campus. I first heard about USG from a mentor who is a veteran nurse, during my time at Prince George’s and Howard County community colleges.
Pursuing a career that affords me the opportunity to be of service to my community and a role model to my children has always been my driving force. In 2016, I gave birth to my two-pound daughter and it is because of the compassionate care provided by the nursing staff that I ultimately decided that becoming a nurse would fulfill that desire. The diligence, dedication, and patience of the nursing staff who cared for my daughter during her 10-week stay in the NICU further ignited my passion to be a part of a profession that directly impacts and improves the quality of life for others.
When the COVID-19 pandemic hit in March of 2020, as a nursing student, I felt overwhelmed with my many obligations and commitments. How would I adapt to a new virtual learning environment? How will my classmates adjust? I have always been a strong proponent of the fact that we succeed the most when we work together collectively, and so at that time, I created a study group with 10 students who were mostly parents. This study group morphed into a student organization called Nurses Helping Nurses (NHN). NHN provides peer-to-peer mentoring, encouragement, sharing of resources, study sessions, and support to nursing students. In 20 months, the membership of NHN grew to over 150 members across all four semesters, and we have remained dedicated to collaborative success and establishing a sense of belonging to UMSON at USG.
I also serve as the BSN representative on the Baccalaureate and Clinical Nurse Leader Curriculum Committee (BCNLCC), as Co-Community Chair for the University of Maryland Association of Nursing Students (UMANS) and a member of the Student Advisory Board at USG. In addition, I completed the Diversity Learning Series at USG and am a member of the National Black Nurses Association.
The USG community is truly my second family — the campus culture enables every student to thrive and helps to promote a sense of belonging and acceptance through initiatives that welcome diversity. I have built life-long relationships with both faculty and my peers, and can honestly say that I am happy I followed my mentor’s advice years ago when she told me to consider attending USG.
I am currently working as a nurse extern in the MedSurg unit at Holy Cross Hospital in Silver Spring. Upon graduation, I would like to work with underserved communities and provide them with the best, compassionate and holistic care possible. If anything, the COVID-19 pandemic has further exposed the inequalities in the social determinants of health as it affects ethnic minorities, black and brown communities. As a member of a marginalized minority community, I have hands-on experience of the challenges such communities face, and their needs for medical care and psychosocial support.
My next adventure will be to obtain a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) in geriatric care.