Nursing School Essay | University of Texas School of Nursing

May 1, 2013

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I was rifling through some old love letters when I found my application essay to the University of Texas School of Nursing ( UTSON ).  I think posting it here will give current nursing students an example of an essay that undergraduate admission panels are looking for.  Personally, it is interesting for me to reflect on my relationship with nursing–my initial hopes and dreams, the harsh reality, and my commitment and loyalty to a challenging profession.  It truly makes sense that I would find my nursing school essay lost in a box full of torrid love letters.

 

 

Nursing is a Way of Life

When contemplating a career choice, psychologists often suggest revisiting the activities that one took pleasure in as a child.  Unwittingly, children engross themselves wholeheartedly in activities that bring them the greatest delight and contentment.  As adults, those qualities equate to stimulation and satisfaction–two elements necessary to sustain a successful career.  In my youth, I enjoyed playing “schoolteacher,” more importantly however, from the ages of six to fifteen, I tended to the needs of my chronically ill grandmother.  During this period of time, the idea of playing nurse never crossed my mind; rather, care giving was a way of life.

The magnitude of influence that caring for my grandmother had in shaping my career decisions is immense;  although it was unknown to me for quite some time.  A distinct correlation was made early in my employment as a Clinical Assistant at Seton Medical Center.  While holding the hand of a patient, as he passed through the stages of a stroke, I recognized the tone and delivery of my words as that which I used when comforting my grandmother during a similar event.  Amidst the chaos of the medical team, I became overwhelmed with a sense of complete wholeness that I had not felt before.  I become acutely aware that my childhood care giving role had provided me with a unique ability to invest myself fully into the health and wellbeing of others, in the very same way that I had done with my grandmother.

In addition to caring for patients, I also maintain an affinity for teaching.  The delight I found while playing “schoolteacher” as a child derived from the act of sharing new information with imaginary students.  My thirst for knowledge and the desire to share is no less prevalent now as it was then, however my knowledge is based in scientific method, holistic healthcare promotion and nursing theory.

Nursing synthesizes care giving and teaching in a way that utilizes my natural strengths while benefiting others.  The intrinsic value of caring for my grandmother and my desire to share knowledge provide me with undaunted motivation.  My core professional values embody the need for empathy and ethical conduct while holistic treatment is imperative in effective healing.

Unfortunately, the current state of healthcare does not allow maximum nurturing to individual patients in hospital settings.  Attaining a Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing degree allows me to consult, collaborate and coordinate healthcare policy on an administrative level.  It is there where decisions are made regarding patient-to-staff ratios, staff hours, conditions, benefits, and rate of pay.  If one is to change the environment of nursing in a clinical setting, it must be done by a leader in a policy making position.  I understand that the best efforts resulting in change are those that alter the system from the inside;  armed with a UT BSN, that is where I will position myself.

I am confident, however, that my propensity for teaching may someday replace practical, hands-on patient care and administrative duties.  The lack of qualified professors in the area of nursing will perpetuate the absence of university degreed healthcare professionals in the industry.  Without degreed professionals, advancement in many areas of nursing will suffer.  With love of nursing as my greatest tool, I hope to inspire students to engage in its field of study.

Advancing the field of nursing is not only a professional success, but a personal success as well.  Nursing is not a conscious choice that was cultivated by a college advisor or a team of psychologists;  it is who I am–it is my past, present and future.  My natural inclination lead me to the field of nursing where I wholly and unwittingly applied myself and found immeasurable stimulation and satisfaction.  For me, nursing is not merely an opportunity for a sustaining career, it is who I am;  care giving has always been and will continue to be a way of life.

 

 

Here are a couple of other posts that you might enjoy:  Letter to a UT Nursing Student on how to ThriveWhere you go to Nursing School Matters and Foreign Educated Nurses (learn why they are getting all the jobs and US nursing grads aren’t).

My most popular posts are Bullying in Nursing and New York City Nurses Don’t Make as Much as You Think.

 

 

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30 comments

Comments (30)

  1. I love you Gail. I wish we were neighbors or that you would marry my younger brother. But I don’t have a younger brother. I have an older one that you would not enjoy. He’s kind of pompous and eccentric. He’s also married with 5 kids so that can’t work. Maybe I should adopt a new brother that can live next door to me and then you could marry him.

    • Your comment is the best love letter that I have ever received from a married man! THANK YOU!

  2. Thank you so much for posting this! I am applying to UT school of nursing, and this is INCREDIBLY helpful!

    • Thanks for reading it! When I applied I didn’t have a clue what to write about and there were no essays available on-line for me to reference. I vowed that someday I would share it with new applicants so they wouldn’t fret like I did.

      I just wrote my Personal Statement for the Nurse Practitioner program at NYU and I was accepted. I’ve thought about posting that one, too, but it seems far too soon. I’d like to make sure that essay stands the test of time as well.

      In both, I wrote about things that were personal and real. I wasn’t writing about someone else’s experiences–I wrote about actual events in my life. Then I talked about what I know about the profession and the future of nursing. Finally, I wrote about how I would become a leader in my field. It worked and I hope it works for you, too!

  3. Thanks for posting this! I’m currently writing my letters for UT and hope to be a successful nurse soon. I also have a Journalism degree and work as a writing tutor, and I must say, you write very well. The essay is thoughtful, personal and detailed. So, hopefully mine can be too.

  4. Thank you Taylor! If I had the time, I would fill my days with writing about nursing. But I love living in Manhattan and have to do more than write so that I can afford to eat (well).

    Best of luck with your UT experience!

  5. It is so nice to read the essay, great help to me. Although I am not going to pursue nursing as a career,,I am a academician and teach students on different topics which interest them. One of my student asked me for this kind of essay, like everyone, I took the help of internet and there it was, a beautiful essay from you.

    Just wish to thank you and tell you that you have helped students in this part of the world called Pakistan.

    Irfan

  6. Thank you for posting you essay online! It is useful for people who have no clue about a professional goal essay. Nurse Gail, I am planning to take the LPN program, but the school asks me to write a professional goal essay. I have trouble of knowing where to start and how to begin it. I need your advise regarding a nursing essay.

    Thank you in advance and I look foward for your help.

    • Solange,

      I’m sorry it took me so long to reply. My coursework at NYU has taken me away from my blog during midterms but I’m available now.

      My first question is, why an LPN program? I recommend that every nurse obtain a bachelor’s degree. I’m wondering what your rationale is.

      Second, what are your goals? Why do you want to be a nurse? Is your mom a nurse? Were you hospitalized as a child? What draws you to the profession?

      How do you see your career developing? Do you want to work at the bedside in a hospital or do you want to work in a clinic? Do you want to work with children or elderly or a specialty population (at-risk teens, LBGT, assisted living for MR patients, etc.)?

      If you want to become a nursing instructor or policy maker or manager you will need a minimum of a BSN and you should write about that as one of your goals.

      Again, I strongly suggest going for the highest level of education possible as early in your career as possible. More education = more choices, more freedom, more respect, and more money.

  7. Thank you for posting this! You write so concisely. I am applying to nursing school and have been so stressed. This is such good inspiration!

  8. Mary,
    Thank you for reading! Best of luck on your nursing school essays–the application process is really stressful. I just applied to the Study Abroad program at NYU and had to write ANOTHER application essay. I feel your pain! Let me know how things go.

  9. What a WONDERFUL essay! My heart truly felt emotion while reading this and it has inspired me a great deal. Thank you so much for sharing!

  10. At first glance, it seems like you are a really dedicated and passionate nurse.
    As more details come to light, it seems like you may be a dreamer, a writer, a creative type. Sometimes our fantasies look very different from reality. For example, living in “Manhattan” sound great on Sex and the City but the reality is congested and expensive with lots of obligations and stress. People outside of the city have a much higher quality of life and more leisure time. But that is not what the t.v shows sell to little girls.
    Ultimately, nursing is brutally hard work with high liability (getting fired or sued), this is why the pay is so good. Nursing is a vocation. It is not a House, or some ER show on tv. The good news for a young white attractive woman such as your self is that at any moment if finances get too hairy or you just get tired of fighting, you can always marry into a little money. Why do you think your mothers generation stayed home and kept house? Because ultimately it’s easier to clean up the house and cook dinner then it is to work in a hospital.
    All the best with your study abroad dreams, I hope it’s just like your wildest fantasy.

    • Thanks for your comment, Joe. You are astute in your observations. Nursing can be “brutally hard.” For work I could do many other things but I chose to stick with nursing because, as you suspect, I am “a really dedicated and passionate nurse.” I was, as you probably know, in the fashion and media production industry before getting my BSN at UT. I am a nurse by choice, not because I was forced into it.

      I feel a great deal of satisfaction in overcoming the obstacles of living in Manhattan as a single woman on a nurse’s salary. I’ve lived in NYC for 7 years and I feel like my monthly rent is the cover charge or entrance fee to the greatest gallery, museum, movie set, and visual art platform found on earth. But it isn’t for everyone–some people can only see the congestion, expense, obligations, and stress. But like nursing, I chose to live in NYC. Seattle and Austin are great and no one twisted my arm to leave. I am in Manhattan because I love it, not because I have no other option.

      Leading a full and happy life is about perspective. You might call me a dreamer, but I’m living my dream. I do my best to help others which makes it all the better.

  11. Gail this is phenomenal. I have similar aspirations and this was a tremendous help in writing my personal essay to nursing school. Thank you for posting this.

  12. Gail,

    Thank you! Your essay is really an inspiration. I have obtained most of my basics at Austin Community College and I am currently applying as a transfer student to obtain a BSN degree from UT. I’ve been born and raised in Austin, and it is definitely my dream school!

    • Theresa, THANKS for reading. I’m glad that my post helped you in some way. Good luck with the transfer. Did you happen to read this post? It might be of interest to you. I hope you love UT as much as I did!

  13. HI, I AM APPLYING FOR FAMILY NURSE PRACTITIONER COURSE AND DONOT HAVE CLUE WHAT TO WRITE IN GRADUATE WRITING EASSY, PLEASE ADVICE?????????

  14. Thank you Gail. Very well written essay. I am really, really struggling to write an essay for UT Family Nurse Practitioner program. I have one week left until the deadline and….. nothing!
    I am passionate about helping people, but I can’t find my writing hat!

    • Hi Cristina, I wrote this in a previous comment and it is a good formula: “I wrote about things that were personal and real. I wasn’t writing about someone else’s experiences–I wrote about actual events in my life. Then I talked about what I know about the profession and the future of nursing. Finally, I wrote about how I would become a leader in my field.” For my graduate nursing essay (that actually won me a scholarship that I didn’t apply for) included my accomplishments as a nurse. What did you bring to the profession between undergrad and grad school? I learned everything I could about nursing by becoming a travel nurse then I went into private duty. I saw a way to better help those patients so I formed my own LLC and now I practice as a concierge nurse and a consultant. Nurse entrepreneurship is a way to elevate the profession to a new level. I wrote that students should have the option to study business in nursing to prepare them for the role of CEO. I also talked about nurses taking individual responsibility for health promotion. In addition (I crammed a lot into my paper!), I wrote about relationships and that I wanted to attend NYU to meet like-minded nurses and world-class faculty. I wrote that bedside nursing can be isolating (especially travel nursing) and I have reached a point in my career where advancement requires collaboration. I want to be in a supportive environment that promotes personal and professional growth. I also did a little research into what NYU wants to be known for and noted that our goals are the same. I hope this helps! Let me know how things go. Grad school is wonderful.

  15. Whoa! What an Awesome write up Gail….. Am very passionate about helping people… Holding their hands when they have no love one around, listen to them, when they need someone to confide in, smile at them when they’re in pain to divert their attention, secretly shed tears when they give up life….. Oh yes am proud to be a nurse…

    • Nursing really has connected me to the human condition and I am so grateful for the privilege to do it. I’m so glad that you enjoy it as well. Thank you for your kind and honest comment.

  16. Hi Gail, I am applying to NYU for the master program in nursing! I am trying to decide between education or leadership. i am not sure wich program to take. Any advise?

    • Hi Consuelo, thanks for reaching out.

      I wasn’t sure if I should go into education or primary NP. I asked a very respected physician that I worked with what I should do. He asked me what kind of LIFE I wanted (not career, necessarily). I said that I wanted the most interesting life filled with unusual opportunities and few limitations. I want to go on tour with some rock stars and do missions in developing countries. I want to report health information and host a TV show and write a few books. I want to continue to grow my business Nightingale Wellness and develop a fleet of concierge RNs to make house calls. He said NP without a doubt and assured me that I will be able to teach nursing with my NP degree and a full resume.

      On another note, I recently met with Judith Shamian, the president of the International Council of Nurses. She is the queen of all nurses in the WORLD. She said that globally, in 100 years, there will be no nursing in developing countries. The World Health Organization [WHO] came out with a report that showed nursing was too expensive and that lay people can be taught certain aspects of care for much less money. So nurses are being phased out.

      The reason for this is because there are no nurses working for the WHO to represent the profession when guidelines are being drafted. There are also no nurses working at the World Bank (the #1 governing body concerning global health decisions) and there are very few nurses in government (in any country). Nursing is being squeezed out of every conversation even in the hospital level. Very rarely will you find a nurse on the board.

      The decision to go into education or leadership is personal. However, I just wrote your admission essay for nursing leadership in this comment. You can teach at any point in your life with a graduate degree and a full resume. Leadership is where nurses are needed and the opportunities are limitless.

      Please let me know how things turn out and GOOD LUCK!!

  17. Hi Gail, Thank you so much for your input. Really made my day. I will let you know how things turn out!

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