Undergraduate Degree: B.S in Psychology on the Neuroscience track; I worked as a research assistant within UMass Amherst’s Richardson Lab and interned at Northampton's Cutchins program.
Current Position Title and Affiliation: UCLA Master's Entry Clinical Nursing Program Student
Summary of Position:
This program is a two-year pre-licensure program which prepares individuals with a baccalaureate degree in another discipline for a career in nursing (they do exist!). In addition to our primary nursing classes we also take health promotion, ethical and social justice, mental health, and public health courses; as well as health care policy, advance research, and population-based quality improvement courses. The concepts and skills we learn in these courses are integrated and applied in our clinical placements which include inpatient acute care settings as well as public health settings, health-maintenance organizations, and ambulatory care settings.
As the program continues, the clinical hours increase and cumulate into a full clinical immersion experience within a specific healthcare setting, along with a clinical nurse leadership project. When I graduate from this program I will receive a MSN degree, a public health nursing certification, and also qualify to take the Clinical Nurse Leader (CNL) certification exam. A CNL is a master's-prepared advanced nurse generalist who oversees the care of patients on specific hospital units, utilizing their knowledge of current nursing research evidence to determine the best plan of care for patients on a specific unit.
After I graduate from this program I aim to work with one of my many populations of interests (pediatric endocrinology, neurology, or maternal health/L&D) within California; as well as utilize my public health nursing certification and CNL certification by working with underserved communities and California’s homeless population.
What do you love most about this career path?
There are so many options within nursing, with multiple different specialties and settings to choose from. You are continuously learning, no matter if you are a new grad or 20+ years into the field. You can be involved at the bedside, or within healthcare research, policy, technology, and more; you are never “stuck.” :)
How did UMass and/or Psychological and Brain Sciences help prepare you?
My scientific background from the neuroscience track provided a foundation for the anatomy, physiology, pathophysiology, and pharmacology courses I have taken within nursing, and sparked my interest in understanding the human body; and simultaneously, my humanities background from psychology helped me understand people, which is tremendously crucial to nursing!
Tips for Current Undergrads:
Follow your interest and curiosity; it is okay and totally normal not to know what you want to do when you graduate. You learn more about yourself, and what you want in a career, with each experience you have, so just don’t be afraid to dive deeper into the subjects and activities that interest you.