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My desire to pursue a career in geriatric nursing was a natural culmination of my

personal experiences. Growing up with my grandmother as my neighbor, I was fortunate as we

were able to build a strong, close relationship. My grandmother was a huge part of my life and
helped raise me after my parents divorced, assuming the role of a mother-like figure. Because
my dad traveled for his job, I spent the majority of my time at my grandmothers house. This is
where the spark of my desire to be a nurse began. Being around my grandmother taught me
qualities such as gentleness and tenderness. This experience not only showed me the love I had
for her, but also the love I felt for other people in the aging population. Hearing her childhood
stories helped me understand how much the elderly have to offer my generation and how much
we could learn from their life experiences. My heart was growing with sympathy while I was
learning to put others first. I recognized the importance of my tone and delivery of words when
we spoke. She opened my eyes to characteristics such as patience and carefulness that I knew I
wanted for myself so, in turn, I could use them for others. Taking care of her when she was not
feeling well, holding her hand when she was walking down stairs, and making her laugh just to
see her smile are all little things that I began wanting to do for others as well.
Several years
ago I found myself standing by her side at the hospital. I wanted to know everything about her
condition. It was at that moment my initial spark of interest in geriatric nursing grew into a
flame. I needed to complete volunteer hours to qualify for the Bright Futures Scholarship so I
decided to volunteer at a local assisted living facility to further examine what I was feeling. I
soon found myself there every day, by far exceeding the minimum volunteer hours needed to
qualify for my scholarship. This further increased my care and compassion for the elderly.
Volunteering with a geriatric nurse was a rewarding experience. The opportunity to help
senior adults at this special season in their life was not only fulfilling, but also life changing.
These experiences opened a very special place in my heart. I realized it was challenging yet
rewarding at the same time. Having all these experiences solidified what I had been feeling for a
long time-my love for serving the elderly. Something inside me clicked and I thought, Wow,
this is what I was created for.
I would have never thought that some of the childhood hardships I faced would prove
beneficial in my approach to life and ambition. I was raised by a single father who traveled three
to four days a week. However, it was during this time, while caring for siblings and myself, that I
learned some valuable life lessons. My father taught me selflessness by always putting us first, as
well as the value of persistence and focus. The lessons I learned growing up empowered me as a
student. As a high school student, my academic ambitions have always been my priority, while
balancing participation in clubs, jobs and life at home. As a member of the Spanish National
Honor Society, the Junior Civitan and the Anchor Club I learned how to keep a schedule and stay
organized while focusing on my grades, volunteering, and working. I was fortunate to receive a
Bright Futures Academic scholarship to help pay for my undergraduate tuition. Starting my first
job at age 16, I also learned to save my own money.
The dedication and commitment I made during high school has carried over to college
and has helped me maintain an excellent GPA. Learning to balance school, extracurricular
activities and a job during high school has also helped me through difficult academic semesters.
Furthermore, knowing the rigorous nature of the University of South Florida Nursing Program,
should I be fortunate enough to be accepted I plan to focus solely on the program. Therefore, I
have taken steps so I can devote all my time to being a nursing student. For example, I continue
to stay employed and save money so that I will not have to work should I be accepted to the
program. I also have maintained the requirements to continue receiving my scholarship

throughout the rest of my undergraduate program. Although the Nursing Program is timeconsuming, school is a passion and priority to me. I know this program will be tough, but I am
inspired by the challenge. When I commit to something, I do not stop until I achieve my goal
and, in doing so, I know I am one step closer to reaching my dream. I believe I can thrive in this
type of environment through my personal convictions physically, mentally, and spiritually. I
have learned setbacks are natural; they do not hold much power in my life. Many of the positive
and negative experiences of my life have been catalytic in helping me overcome obstacles and
have taught me to strive in to reach my God-given potential.
I have learned essential life lessons of leadership, service and volunteering through both
formal and informal education. I have learned that leadership development is a process. Due to
my lifes circumstances it was necessary for me to take on leadership roles at a young age. These
helped me immensely as I started my first job during my high school sophomore year. During
that time, I worked every weekend of the school year as well as forty hours a week during the
summer. Values of stability, dedication, and devoting extra-effort played a vital part of my
promotion to a management position. In my two years of experience as a manager, I learned the
significance of not only being a leader, but also the importance of teamwork. I learned key
aspects of leadership including positive modeling, dependability and leading by example. I hope
to be able to instill these qualities in others while working as a nurse.
Volunteering was also a tremendous learning experience where I found myself with a
thirst of knowledge of wanting to know more to help others. While volunteering at the assisted
living facility in high school and college, I gained great fulfillment in two different elements: joy
in assisting and caring for the residents, and gratefulness because of what they brought to me.
These helped confirm my calling to pursue a career as a geriatric nurse. To this day I remain
thankful for the joy they brought to my life, and I feel truly blessed for each relationship that was
made. Whether it was playing bingo or sitting bedside while a resident was in pain, it was in
those moments that I grew more aware of my growing passion to become a nurse. I realized the
more time I spent with them, the more I wanted to formally educate myself to provide them
better care. As many of the residents had no one else, I noticed taking the time to have a simple
ten-minute conversation could brighten their day. Learning to let go was a difficult part of the
process, but being able to bring friendship and comfort to them during difficult times of their
lives was very special to me. Volunteering with a nurse and seeing my anticipated career path
firsthand was an unbelievable experience and gave me a glimpse into the personal fulfillment I
hope to one day realize by working as a geriatric nurse.
Life is full of experiences. I believe the way in which we harness these experiences for
the benefit of ourselves and, more importantly, others, defines us as individuals. I have gained
valuable insight from my life experiences. I believe these experiences have not only helped me
grow as an individual, but have better prepared me for a future dedicated to helping others. I
decided long ago through my experiences with my grandmother and volunteering an assist living
facility that one of my goals was to use my life experiences and formal education to serve our
aging population. I strongly feel it is my passion, desire and, most importantly, my calling to
make a contribution to their quality of life.