Why I Went Into Nursing

* Registered Nurse License in New York State
* Basic Life Support Certification through the American Heart Association
* Fluent in Mandarin

I am a registered nurse who graduated in May 2012 from the NYU Accelerated Program. I went into nursing because I enjoy collaborating with people about their health and I feel passionate about improving people’s health. For me, it is unacceptable that 2/3 of Americans are overweight or obese, and that extra weight is causing a wide range of health problems, including heart diseases, diabetes, and mental health issues. My goal is for each person to be as independent as possible and to make educated decisions. My LinkedIn Profile has a more detailed list of my experience.

I’ve shown my commitment to nursing through the extracircular activities I did outside of my part time job as a swim instructor and schoolwork. In nursing school, I co-founded the Asian Pacific Islander Nursing Student Association because I saw a need for peer support among Asian nursing students. In addition, I became a mentor to a younger nursing student to guide him through school.

Since I am currently located in New York City where there is a large population of Chinese people, I know that the need for nurses who speak Mandarin is great. That also meant that health problems specific to Chinese people must also be high. I found that the NYU Langone Medical Center has a Center for the Study of Asian American Health. One of the programs was targeted Chinese people and hepatitis B (B Free CEED). I had to get involved because I felt that I will eventually serve this community. I became an intern in October 2011 through May 2012 and learned more about public health and the roots of health inequity.

Due to the tight constraints of an accelerated program, becoming a nurse extern over the summer is not possible. However, over the winter break, I was able to partake in an opportunity at a Taipei City Hospital to observe in the Operating Room (80 hours) and ICU (80 hours) as a nurse extern. It has opened my eyes to the nursing practice differences between the US and Taiwan and helped me gain insight into the role of the nurse.

My long term goal is to become a nurse practitioner. I also would want to become a nursing instructor. Since I have taught swimming to over 700 people from toddlers, children, teenagers, young adults, adults, and older adults for over 4 years, I learned that there is a stepwise progression to learning, and individual attention and goals are essential for students to grasp and utilize material (this idea is similar to the philosophy used at khanacademy.org).

Please feel free to contact me via email with any questions or comments – I’ll get back to you shortly! ~ jesschang07@gmail.com.

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  • Kendall Szczerba

    Hi Jessica –
    I see you are in CRNA school now, congratulations! I am noticing in your earlier posts here about why you went into nursing was to become a nurse practitioner. Can I ask why you decided to switch paths? I am a registered nurse right now and looking to become a nurse practitioner myself actually. Do you have any insight on becoming an NP? Thanks!

    • Hi Kendall, I haven’t replied it all this time mostly because it is a loaded question. I knew I always wanted to advance my education in one way or another because I thought I loved school. Now that it’s been a year in, I can say that it is the hardest thing that I’ve ever done! As for picking NP vs CRNA, the more I shadowed the more I felt that becoming a CRNA was a good fit for me. There is an incredible amount of independence and yet teamwork.

      That being said, choosing to become an advanced practice nurse requires some thought. What are your strengths and weaknesses? What kind of setting are you looking to practice? If you’re interested in one over another, is there additional experience or exams that you need to get where you want to go?

      Is there a NP that you admire and could shadow for a day or couple hours? NPs are everywhere: in outpatient clinics, inpatient, in surgery as first assist (I didn’t know this until I started CRNA school), ER, and will often specialize (psych, acute care, family, pediatrics, neuro, nephrology — either right away or after graduating). Some work similarly to a PA under a physician and others work more independently (depending on the state, some NPs are independent right away, some independent after a few years, and some must work under physician supervision).

      I hoped that helped. Good luck Kendall!