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MECN, Masters Entry Clinical, Gerontology, Latina

I see my degree in Sociology as most beneficial to someone who has chosen nursing as their career, enabling me to see the big picture with greater clarity from the beginning, understanding the complexities of diversity and social justice issues as they play out in the nursing profession. Serving as a student Research Assistant at XXXX’s Center for Health Services and Society, compiling databases for advanced mobile care apps for patients with severe mental illness, provided me with the greatest sense of joy, to be working and creating on the cutting edge in health care. I also have hands-on experience working as a Nursing Assistant, changing, feeding, monitoring, and visiting with residents at a nursing home. This will help me to hit the ground running in your Master’s Program in Nursing at the University of XXXX School of Nursing. I especially look forward to learning as much as I can about geriatrics and public health policy as it relates to community health nursing. The 200 hours that I spent as a Nursing Volunteer at XXXX Hospital and 150 hours at XXXX hospital will also help me to excel in your rigorous MECN Program.

You will undoubtedly have applicants with a higher GPA than mine, but I ask for special consideration in this regard because I only earned grades of ‘C’ grade during my first 2 years at XXXX and my grades improved for the next 2 years. At first I felt helpless and depressed during the early part of my college days because I also had to work to support myself and I am the first member of my family to attend college, I could not turn to my family for guidance since neither of my parents even completed high school. It wasn't until I sought help through counseling that I learned that I had a learning disability, and my grades turned around. Thus, I feel strongly that my cumulative GPA (3.1) is not an accurate reflection of my ability to perform in your program. Fortunately for me, XXXX MECN does not judge a student so much by their entire cumulative GPA; but, rather, focuses on the last 90 quarter units (I have a 3.4 for the last 90 units). For my pre-requisites in nursing, I have earned 5 A's, 3 B's, and 1 B- (from my first year at XXXX). 

Probably the strongest aspect of my application is the fact that I am fully bilingual (Spanish/English) and bicultural, Mexican-American. I was raised by my elderly Mexican grandparents – who I looked after as much as they looked after me – and I have worked at a nursing home and volunteered at the hospital. Thus, I have been exposed me to a variety of health, psychological, and social issues involving the elderly and their nursing care especially with respect to the most vulnerable patients. Many of the patients that I helped to care for had cognitive impairments, particularly dementia and Alzheimer’s. It is with these patients that I have the most experience.

The forgetfulness of dementia patients even interferes with their eating behavior and, as a result, they consume inadequate amounts of food. To combat this problem, I supervise them during their mealtimes, encouraging them to eat, trying to make eating fun for them. I learned that it is of critical importance to establish a rapport with the resident in order to adequately address their clinical issues. My grandfather, a Mexican immigrant, joined the bracero program to try and provide a better living for his family and escape the repression of the Mexican government. It is for this reason that he fled north to California. He did not speak a word of English nor did he have an education beyond the second grade, which left him vulnerable to exploitation. As a child, I witnessed how my family did very hard, dangerous work and were unable to receive health care attention even for work-related injuries. My grandfather fell off the ladder many times while picking lemons. These accumulated injuries have left him in a wheelchair until today. I take my grandpa to his doctor’s visits to bridge communication gaps involving his medical care, explaining things to him in a way that he is able to fully understand, voicing his concerns or fears that may otherwise be overlooked. The more I learn about nursing care, the happier I am that I can provide it in both languages. I monitor and manage my grandfather’s medications and his diet to lower his high blood pressure (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension, DASH); I am his caregiver as well as his advocate. The greatest contribution to society that I can imagine making is improving the delivery of healthcare, especially for the Spanish-speaking underserved, both documented and undocumented.

My ideal job would be to serve as a lead nurse in the area of geriatric nursing, eventually serving on institutional and policy-making boards so that I can have a direct share in critical decision making that has the greatest impact on patients. I want to be of service to our growing aging population, improving the later stages of life, making them more healthy and fulfilling for our older citizens. As a future expert in the area of Gerontology, I want to put my expertise to work as an advocate for elderly people in nursing homes.

As a student of sociology, I worked mostly on research projects geared towards the improvement of the mental health of the community, forming research partnerships with organizations such as Healthy African American Families, looking for ways to improve how psychological services are delivered through the use of new technologies. I find myself constantly translating, whether at the hospital or nursing home, for Spanish-speaking patients. Since high school I have participated in programs in tutoring second-language learners. At XXXX, I mentored kids from underserved areas in Los Angeles and engaged in creative activities that fostered their personal and academic growth while at the same time developing my leadership skills that will serve me well as a nursing professional constantly engaged with community issues designed to improve the lives of our most vulnerable members. I thank you for considering my application.

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