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DNP Africa, Immigrant Applicant, Cameroon

March 9, 2014

1.) I am applying to the University of XXXX because I am convinced that your program is the finest DNP program available for an applicant with my specific interests and focus: on Africa. In my humble opinion, the greatest weakness of my application to your program is my age; I am 52. Nevertheless, I hope and pray that you will look favorably on my application because of my profound dedication to health care and nursing in Africa. I am from Africa, raised in Africa; I know my homeland very well, my native Cameroon in particular. I am in very good health and an extremely hard worker who lives for nursing. Upon my retirement in the USA, I look forward to dedicating the balance of my life to the development of nursing care in Africa and I fully intend to give my all to this area until I am no longer able to do so.

 I came to America 25 years ago, a wife, a mother; I initially put my own education on the back burner to support my husband who earned his Masters and then his PHD. When my marriage ended, I raised my 4 children all alone at the same time that I went to nursing school. Now, all of my children are in college except the littlest one who is 10 years old. I now have 14 years of experience in nursing and I finished my BSN this past May, 2013. I am currently working two positions as a nurse, 64 hours per week, and I enjoy every minute that I spend in uniform.

 2.) My future goals for my professional career are to continue to build on my extensive experience in nursing and to become a leader in my field, especially with respect to nursing in Africa. I now have extensive nursing experience in NICU and Med-surg and I am presently working in Psychiatry and substance abuse. My current position has helped me to better understand the needs of people at the homeless shelter where I have spent a lot of what little free time that I have. I also have a special passion for diabetes education, HIV, and nutrition.

 I plan to continue to work here in the USA for the next 13 years or so until I retire, at the same time that I build bridges with nurses in Africa so that I am highly knowledgeable about nursing leadership in Africa. I see retirement at 65 not as the end of my career, however, but the beginning of my crowning effort as a nurse, my return to Africa to work as a nursing leader in my native Cameroon, educating our nurses so that they will be more effective in educating our communities about communicable diseases and health maintenance. The communities in Cameroon (West Africa) where I originally come from are very, very poor and most people lack access to any kind of health care. This is why prevention of disease is so critically important for my people. At 65, I hope to launch a new career in Africa for another 15 to 20 years, teaching health maintenance and prevention of disease to nurses and other health care professionals.

 3.) Your program is my first choice for graduate school because of my profound respect and admiration for your emphasis on the importance of innovation, learning and discovery. Most of all, however, I appreciate your recognition and emphasis on the importance of preparing ‘culturally proficient’ nurses for service to our ‘global society’. I see this as Africa’s best and perhaps only hope for radical improvement in our health care systems, solidarity with the global health care community.

 My own central goal and professional vision entails helping to design and implement health education campaigns and disease prevention strategies, such as immunization and screenings, HIV education and other communicable diseases. I look forward to serving as an advocate for those with the greatest need, the most vulnerable members of our communities, the underserved. I plan to work closely with local, state, and federal authorities in Cameroon to improve access to health services for our poorest communities, mostly in rural areas where little to no health care service currently exist.

 At the same time that I want to give my all to my land of origin, Cameroon, I want to do so in a way that contributes to our understanding of the great health care challenges faced by the entire continent of Africa, and to share experiences and strategies with other nursing professionals and educators continent wide, and in this way build solidarity between our nations in our efforts to improve health care systems and structures. I see myself working for a non-profit organization in Africa with a focus on improving access to health care, especially with respect to HIV prevention, addressing the stigmas attached to the disease. I thank you from the bottom of my heart for your consideration of my application to your distinguished program.

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