I was a tiny, premature baby, and although my medical problems were not severe, they involved frequent hospital visits throughout my early childhood. I became used to the hospital environment and observed the staff in a way that only a child can. I saw that some nurses and doctors completed tasks with little emotion, and others did the same job but with a smile and a friendly manner, even occasionally taking the time to share a joke with a little girl. I decided incredibly early in my life that I wanted to be one of these friendly and caring professionals someday and I will never forget this childhood resolution.
Initially, my dream was to be a doctor, but I could not overcome the early obstacles to my goal. My exam results were not good enough for medical school, which was devastating. Before I had finalized plans to retake exams and re-apply, my parents told me they could not support me through exam re-takes in medical school. They suggested that I apply for nursing school. I did so but was unhappy and crushed, and my initial results reflected my attitude. At a certain point, I realized I was staring another failure in the face and would let myself and my family down unless something changed. I adopted a new attitude; I studied hard and enthusiastically, my scores improved dramatically, and I felt much happier. My unique perspective was rewarded by an associate degree and an R.N. post at one of the most prestigious hospitals in South Korea.
Life moved on professionally and personally; I married, moved to the US, had four children, worked happily and successfully as a nurse, and supported my husband through his Ph.D. studies. My life seemed pretty much ‘mapped out,’ but unexpectedly, my husband and I separated. I took careful stock of my life; I decided I wanted to advance academically and professionally as far as my ability would take me. Although working full time, I studied for a B.S. in biology at St. John’s University. My GPA score was admittedly not ‘stellar,’ but I graduated ‘Magna cum Laude.’ I felt enormously proud to have succeeded when working full-time, caring for my children, and studying.
Having obtained my degree, I began to look closely at my professional situation. I have two decades of ICU nursing experience and have been successful and, to a considerable extent, personally fulfilled in my career. However, I wanted a change that involved progress and additional satisfaction. I explored diverse options and, after much consideration, have concluded that being a Nurse Anesthetist would fulfill my specialization and progress goals. I have substantial experience in ICU, specifically in neuro ICU and in helping to manage patients during surgery. I knew the role and characteristics of a good NA and saw that I possessed them.
According to the AANA, CRNAs are “special people -- compassionate, vigilant in their responsibilities, protective of and advocates for their patients; they dedicate themselves to one patient at a time, watching over them and seeing that the patient is pain-free during surgery.” When I read these words, I could see that they described the role I sought and would use my specific skills and characteristics. I discussed the position with several NA colleagues, who encouraged me to complete this application and decided to do so.
I am keen to be involved in research, especially in neuro-anesthetics, and I believe that my considerable experience will enable me to make a significant contribution. I aim to become a highly skilled and knowledgeable NA to benefit my patients.
My long nursing life has given me considerable experience in effective teamwork and recognizing situations where it is appropriate to seek support. While happy to work as part of a team, I am a confident and able decision-maker working autonomously. I am very aware of the need for cultural sensitivity in healthcare provision. I have personal experience living in two distinct cultures and adjusting to moving from one to another. I have also treated, studied with, and worked alongside people of many cultural and social backgrounds and enjoy doing so. I enjoy educating people about my own Korean culture and learning from others about their own.
I know that CRNA programs attract many very well-qualified applicants. However, I am academically able, as I have recently demonstrated in the face of extreme time constraints; I am a highly experienced health professional with proven skills and knowledge in the area in which I wish to work; my extensive experience and personal maturity will enable me to contribute something of value to my class. However, my most important recommendation is a genuine passion and determination to excel in the program.
A nurse who immigrated from Korea, this applicant has the desired multicultural experience and is a native speaker of one of the languages that one most frequently hears in North America, Korean, especially in large cities, particularly on the West Coast. This is important because large urban hospitals want to have nursing professionals who are native or near-native speakers of Korean on call, in case of an emergency where a translator is needed. She also has extensive ICU experience as desired.
DNP Nurse Anesthesia, CRNA Personal Statement