I was born and raised in a remote village in India. Our community lacked sanitation, qualified practitioners, and preventative care. Quality primary care continues to be an unobtainable luxury for most in India. That is why since childhood, I wanted to pursue a career in healthcare. My dream came true when I learned that I had been accepted into the University of Maryland School of Nursing (UMSON). I decided to take my classes at the Universities at Shady Grove (USG). I completed my BSN degree in 2014. My experience at USG was exceptionally positive. The culture here is all about comradery, unity, and kindness. UMSON has a culture within a culture. A student does not just graduate with a degree, but also with “a polished character.”
After graduating, I went to work as a registered nurse at the Neuroscience ICU at the Washington Hospital Center. There, I met patients with challenges similar to those in India. I worked with the most vulnerable and ethnically diverse patients coupled with chronic illnesses who lacked access to primary health care. I identified with these patients and developed strong personal and emotional connections because I grew up in a similar community.
Caring for incapacitated patients suffering from debilitating strokes, the long-term implications of preventative care have become apparent to me. I strongly feel that preventing diseases can be at least as effective as curing them. This has inspired me to pursue the primary care training at UMSON at USG. Obtaining a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree with Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) specialty will sharpen my knowledge and expertise in disease prevention, diagnoses, and management in underserved communities.
When I learned from a friend that UMSON at USG is now offering this program, everything clicked into place. I wanted to return to UMSON and give back the same kindness and support I received during my BSN program. I feel privileged to work as a Graduate Teaching Assistant in the UMSON lab and be a DNP FNP student. I am excited to be back in my second home with my second family!