Working as a nurse practitioner has changed my life forever in ways that cannot even be quantified, and I am confident that the DNP will amplify my professional goals un both tangible and intangible ways. I am very happy in my career thus far as a professional nurse, which is why I am seeking the DNP, or Doctor of Nursing Practice, in order to expand my fundamental knowledge base so tat I can practice at a much more elevated level. Obtaining the final degree in my profession would enable me to do so. Three poignant experiences in my nursing education as well as in my burgeoning professional career have fully prepared me for doctoral study.
After receiving my Bachelor’s degree in Nursing, I continued working at the two primary hospitals in the Bay Area in California and felt satisfied with my position and the salary I was compensated with. One day, however, I felt ill and was forced to go to urgent care and encountered advance practice nursing. I was impressed at how she conducted my visit, wrote my prescription, instructed me of what to expect, and detailed the possible side effects of the medication. She told to come back if any of my symptoms worsened or if nothing improved. On my way home, I thought, to myself that I want to be just like her and be able to help patients recover from their illness, prevent diseases, and help them stay healthy. I am fond of the idea of being able to order a medication so they can recover and feel better. I revel in having control over the life and health of another persona and help nurse them back to recover. I remember searching for Nurse Practitioner openings in many schools, but at that time, the profession was neither well-accepted nor utilized. For the next several months, I went to work every day, and I almost forgot the incident when one of the cardiologists brought in a Nurse Practitioner who he introduced as his “extension”. As soon as she completed her orientation, I began to ask her questions about her educational experience. Only a year later, I enrolled at a University and completed my degree as a Master of Science in Family Nurse Practitioner. The grueling nature of the work in graduate school made me reality that I needed a DNP so tha I would be armed with the skills and knowledge necessary to comprehend and appreciate research. Thus, it would facilitate the process of applying evidence into practice to attain the macro goal of achieving patient outcomes, safety, and satisfaction.
My first job as a Nurse Practitioner brought me to Hawaii, I took a position at a privately owned Internal Medicine clinic. I had my own panel of patient managing acute and chronic diseases. I learned and became more comfortable with performing minor procedures, including joint injections, Incision and Drainage, interpreting x rays, referring out to specialty care. I particularly enjoyed seeing patients who were sent back to me from specialty care because the patient had no medical problems. One particular instance that stands out in my memory was when a patient came to me with a complaint of a headache after being evaluated by an ENT as well as a Neurologist. The ENT prescribed him a nasal spray and Claritin, while the Neurologist prescribed him anti-migraine medication, but the patient experienced no relief from either prescription. When I saw the patient, he told me that he felt dizzy, nauseated, with a headache that involved his entire head, and he experienced heightened sensitivity to light. My assessment included sinusitis, Otitis media with a differential diagnosis of a migraine. I gave him my usual combination cocktail for headache and made him wait for 30 minutes inside the exam room. When I went back, he reported that his pain has now become level 3 from a level 10. My visit with the patient would also include telling them about the pathophysiology of their ailments, the effect and side effects of the medications. I believe that if the patient is cognizant of his or her condition and their treatment, they are more likely to be compliant with their care and be able to manage their ailments and prevent them from exacerbating.
In my current practice, I make sure that patients are informed about their health so they can make the right choices for themselves and their families. While I have since relocated to California, I still make sure that my patients are informed of their care. Sixty percent of my patient are diabetics with and without co morbid conditions. In my practice, I also like to treat my patient from a holistic approach. What I mean by that is when a patient comes in for example with a high blood pressure. Usually, I like to find out if there is another cause for his or her blood pressure. Integrating the evaluation of the patient family, work, social life, diet, exercise, helps in finding the root cause of the problem. Of course, I will treat the blood pressure while I attempt to resolve the other potential causes.
Through a Masters program, I plan to further explore the medical health issues that I am so much fascinated with and hope that it will add to the corpus of extant knowledge in preventing kidney failure. In my practice, I vast quantities of patient with kidney disease in different stages. I have observed their glomerular filtration rate (GFR) improve after instructing them to exercise. I follow these patients every three months after they have been prescribed renal protection medication with the persuasive recommendation to exercise. Kidney Disease is the ninth leading cause of death in the United States (Gould et al., 2014). I have followed patients that I have referred to several different Nephrologists who will monitor the patients and during their dialysis appointments. My experiences as a nurse practitioner have shaped my desire to pursue a DNP on how ascertaining the economic affects of CKD are grafted into the overall healthcare system. My primary interests in this project pertains to patients exercising and pursuing athletic prowess while suffering from chronic kidney disease deal with it. Gould et al. (2014) show how exercise retains the capacity to enhance beneficial treatment of chronic diseases. Such epistemological promise drives and inspires me on a quotidian basis.
Gould, D.W. Graham-Brown,, M.P.M., Watson, E.L., Viona,, J.L., & Smith, A.C. (2014). Physiological benefits of exercise in pre dialysis chronic kidney disease. Nephrology, 19(9), 519-527.
Heiwe, S.1., & Jacobson, S.H. (2011) Exercise training for adults with chronic kidney disease. Cochrane Database System Review, 15.
Howden, E.J., Coombes, J.S., Strand, H., Douglas, B., Campbell, K.L., & Isbel, N.M. (2015). Exercise training in CKD: efficacy, adherence, and safety. American Journal of Kidney Disorders, 65(4), 583-591.