The University of Massachusetts Amherst

DNP Profile: Ronald Rollon

May 19, 2020

Ronald Rollon is a Doctor of Nursing Practice candidate. As part of our 2020 Nurses Month and International Year of the Nurse coverage, Ronald agreed to share his nursing story with us.  

What is your DNP specialization and expected completion year?

DNP Family Nurse Practitioner Specialization track - 2023

What is your hometown?

Anaheim, California but grew up in rural countryside of the Philippines.

What inspired you to become a nurse? 

I originally wanted to be an accountant like the rest of my family members. My mother pushed me to nursing to exploit the potential she saw in me. I hated the initial nursing coursework but as soon as I stepped in to my first clinical setting, I knew I had found my calling and niche.

How did you decide to pursue a DNP?

When I undertook the journey to become a nurse, I ultimately wanted to finish the academic pathway of this profession. Even through continuous socialization in the profession, I was torn between DNP and PhD. My love for nursing research along with professorship drew me to PhD. However, I realized that I also wanted to remain bedside to remain true to what nursing is originally about. As a compromise, I chose the DNP route with FNP specialization to broaden my area of influence whether it be in research, patient care, or medical treatment.

How has the COVID-19 pandemic affected your work?

I am a perioperative nurse by trade. When the Navy called me to deploy in NYC as part of the military medicine’s response in mitigating COVID-19 public health emergency, I prepared myself for the challenge. The calls for assignments were made as I volunteered to work in the critical care unit. As a perioperative nurse working in the ICU setting, I prepared my notes to enhance my working knowledge of critical care nursing in order to provide the optimal care.

The ICU unit I am assigned to doubled in capacity within days of taking critically-ill, ventilated patients on multiple lifesaving drips and medications. Coming together with the physicians and other providers, we are continuously working on introducing multiple treatments and proactively providing corrective treatments. In Navy essence, we are building a ship as it is sailing through rough seas. This medical deployment provides a different meaning to the term “war zone”. We are combating an unseen hostile force that many have succumb to in such an austere environment.

The biggest challenge has not been patient care itself but rather the expanded role of the patients’ primary family advocate due to the restrictions implemented by the COVID-19 crisis. This includes serving as key liaison between families and their loved ones in strict isolation procedures while providing routine care and tele-visitation to maintain family and patient connections and integration into plan of care and resuscitation status.

We are adjusting to an ever-changing dynamic environment with fluidity. We come to adhere to the military motto, Always Ready.

Tell us about your experience as a UMass Amherst Nursing student

As part of my induction to UMass Amherst, I visited the campus to immerse myself in the school’s environment as well as its culture. My nursing instructors so far have been very engaging and accommodating, particularly during this COVID-19 crisis. The school’s long-standing, robust curriculum is impressive at the least.

What are your hopes and plans for the future? 

My short-term plan is to acquire FNP specialization to help underserved vulnerable communities including the veteran and LGBTQ populations outside of my specialty. I also plan on laying more groundwork for nursing research.