By: Gilbert Hernandez
Nursing as a career path extends far beyond what many may perceive as monotonous, insignificant skill-work, long shifts, and subservience to the orders of doctors and the requests of patients in traditional hospital or office settings.
The application of nursing care has become meaningful and even essential in far more areas than one might have been able to imagine at the time of the profession’s inception. The fascinating field of mental health has always appealed to me and quickly became my passion. Working in inpatient psychiatry provided me with excellent, diverse experience working with mentally-ill individuals of various diagnoses, cultures, and circumstances. This particular field has allowed me to best utilize my passion and therapeutic use of self in a nursing context, to care for people in need of assistance, outside of “traditional” nursing care.
It is my goal to become a psychiatric nurse practitioner so that I may expand upon my knowledge and expertise within this intriguing field, and to serve the individuals that I work with in a more informed and effective manner. Working as a registered nurse in psychiatry has been both exciting and fulfilling, but I have always been a driven, goal-oriented worker with a further desire for knowledge and growth. I am currently employed as a psychiatric nurse clinician in a maximum security state correctional facility, and I find it to be enjoyable and rewarding. I believe that pursuing an advanced practice role will diversify my knowledge of complex psychopathology and applicable treatments, in addition to making myself more valuable to the organization by which I am employed.
Working as a psychiatric nurse practitioner will allow me to grow in my career in a logical, but challenging manner that will allow me to gain further autonomy and expertise within a field that is complex and constantly evolving. I intend to use this knowledge in the correctional setting that I currently work in to deliver enhanced perspective and current evidence-based practice to ensure our patients receive the highest standards of care available. Disparity in healthcare exists in innumerable ways, and this is no exception with regard to the prison population.
Through completion of my Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP) program, I intend to make a more significant impact in the lives of mentally ill individuals, to result in positive patient outcomes and more informed populations.