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DNP, Long Distance Runner, Africa, Kenyan

I now feel strongly that I am at my optimal moment to begin study towards the DNP Degree and prepare myself for the fullest possible contribution to my society as a nursing professional. Originally from Africa, I like to think that my aspirations represent the hopes and dreams of nurses from Africa generally speaking. XXXX University is my first choice among doctoral programs because of its excellent reputation.

My interest in healthcare can be traced back to my origins growing up in Kenya. My community had limited access to healthcare despite the fact that we had life or death healthcare needs. The only healthcare services available were provided by the local government: a small clinic ran by RNs and, every once in a while, a doctor was available for complex cases. Eventually, plagued by corruption, the clinic shut down and our village community had to travel far away to even see a nurse, much less a doctor. It was heartbreaking to see children dying of preventable disabilities like polio. It is these circumstances that originally fueled my passion for nursing.

I moved to the US alone in 2001 and have now been happily married for 15 years. Nursing is a second career for me; in my native Kenya, I was a branch manager for Hertz Car Rental for 15 years while raising 2 boys as a single mother. My sons moved to the US in 2015 and are now in the US Air Force, one in Korea the other in Biloxi MS. My friends from Kenya residing in the US helped me to pay for CNA training so that I could get off to a new professional start and turn my dreams into reality. I met my husband while in CNA training. After CNA certification in 2001, I went straight on to LPN school and graduated in 2003. I took a break to work on my sons’ immigration to the US then went back to school and graduated with my Associates Degree in 2008; finishing my MSN at the University of XXXX in 2013.

I had hoped to join the medical profession in Kenya but in my country these educational programs tend to be reserved for more affluent members of society. I ended up studying tourism and earning a diploma from the IATA (International Air Travel Association). I joined a British based travel and tour company and later became the Manager of Hertz Car Rental at the company’s airport office at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport. This afforded me an opportunity to at least see all of my own country as a tourist. My travels throughout Kenya strengthened my resolve to eventually become a medical professional as I was a first-hand witness to the suffering that results from a lack of healthcare in the countryside. I hope to return to Kenya at some point later on in my career to engage as a nursing professional in the land of my birth, probably teaching nursing, putting my DNP from Frontier to work in the international arena.

Since my CAN training in 2001, I have been on my journey of a lifetime in nursing and I have come to find it increasingly rewarding and fulfilling as the years go by. My awareness and passion concerning the medical needs of underserved populations, in particular, has grown in leaps and bounds as I have learned to think globally while acting locally. In 2011 I participated in a local health fair at the invitation of my local church in Fuquay Varina, NC. We did 340 screenings for Diabetes and high blood pressure in only 2 days. In 2013, I joined a group of 25 medical professional - doctors, nurses, 2 PAs, and myself - on a mission trip back to my home country, Kenya. We held 3 clinics in remote areas of the country and were housed in local boarding school dormitories because in some areas the clinics ran for 2 or 3 days. Working out of a local AIDS clinic, we screened for and treated diabetes and hypertension cases. I found teaching local people about preventative measures for a healthy lifestyle to be particularly fulfilling.

Over the years as a healthcare professional, I have utilized evidence-based practice and research findings to provide optimal care for my patients. I am involved in community outreach groups and will continue this engagement throughout my career. Earning the DNP Degree will greatly enhance my capacity to serve as an advocate for my patients, but more broadly as an advocate for the underserved at the local level generally speaking. It will also very much enhance the contribution that I will be able to make to medical missions back to Africa/Kenya. For me, nursing is a career where one can never really say that they are done training since we need continuous education so as to always be prepared to face new challenges every day.

I see the Affordable Care Act (ACA) as an important turning point in America in terms of providing greater access to health care. Studies have indicated low levels of ACA knowledge, however, and this is certainly true in my community. I look forward to helping to make people more aware of their health care options as they continue to evolve, helping them to make informed decisions. I see public health information campaigns as especially important for the promotion of preventive medical and nursing care.

A long distance runner who has participated in numerous marathons, I recently ran an 'ultramarathon', 63 miles (100k) in 19 hrs. I have great endurance and I am ready to go the distance as a DNP student at Frontier University. I thank you for considering my application.

1Silvia Helena Barcellos et al, Preparedness of Americans for the Affordable Care Act.

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