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Dr. Robert Edinger Admission Writer and Editor

FNP, Applicant with Psychology and Neuroscience Background

I look forward to a long and productive professional lifetime working with children and adolescents who have genetic disorders resulting in some form of disability. I have chosen this career path because I have myself had to deal with disability, and the struggle to make the most of a life with limitations – in every sense of the word. I feel strongly that the research and clinical training experiences offered by XXXX University’s Master’s Degree Program in Nursing are a perfect match for my central career goals. I will be graduating from Harvard University Extension School with my Master’s Degree in Psychology this coming May, 2019 writing my thesis on: “Pain beliefs and behaviors as risk and resilience factors in those with Ehlers-Danlos     Syndrome.” I feel that my undergraduate as well as graduate studies have helped to prepare me for excellence in clinical research in Nursing since my studies for the BS in Neuroscience and Cognitive Psychology were focused in the area of Biochemistry and Physiology.

I currently hold 3 professional positions, as Project Coordinator for the Center for Advancement of Youth, Department of Pediatrics, at the University of XXXX Medical Center in XXXX; Clinical Research Coordinator at the Children’s Cancer Clinic, Department of Pediatrics, also at the University of XXXX Medical Center in XXXX; and I also serve as an Associate Literary Researcher for Medtox Consulting Services in XXXX, MS. Becoming an FNP at XXXX will enable and inspire to continue to do what I do now, only to do it better, gradually assuming greater levels of professional responsibility and putting my leadership skills to good use. First and foremost, I am dedicated to a professional lifetime devoted to clinical research. I spend a lot of time thinking, reflecting, and studying the literature that already exists on the intersection of disability and gender; and the special challenges faced by girls in particular, as children and as adolescents. I have myself spent considerable amounts of time in a wheelchair and have become a master of the apparatus and how to make it work best for the individualized needs of girls in particular, and the strategies that work best for overcoming the limitations of the wheelchair.

A million lights lit up my heart and soul during my medical mentorship at XXXX Children’s Hospital, Mississippi’s only pediatric palliative care program, where I gained significant experience with research, learning how to accurately analyze and synthesize practical concepts for the creation of new ideas with the potential to enhance the freedom - spiritual, psychological, and physical - of children that are wheelchair bound. Throughout my mentorship, I learned firsthand how difficult, frustrating and expensive the nursing process can be, yet also incredibly fascinating, beautiful, vital, and central to what it is that most makes us human. The scariest period in my life was in elementary school, as I struggled to figure out what it meant that I “had a rare genetic disorder” and struggling thereafter to deal with the consequences, mitigate the damage, channeling my limited energy and resources in productive ways. My sister had the same disorder, Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome. But, while she was quiet and reserved, I was loud and outgoing. I couldn’t understand how two people who were so different could have the same disorder. As I began researching the disorder in high school, I grew increasingly intrigued on an intellectual as well as personal level. There seemed to be so much new and exciting research going on, but there were so many questions left unanswered. Throughout college, I wrote papers on genetic disorders for several undergraduate classes and since that time I have never failed to stay abreast of much of the literature on genetic disorders resulting in disabilities of one form or another, especially as they impact adolescent girls. Fully immersed in my studies, learning the basic science that I needed to understand what had happened to me from a scientific perspective, I did not set my sights on a career in nursing until I was mid-way through my graduate studies at Harvard in Psychology, as a result of my realization that I wanted very much to focus the balance of my professional life on nursing. I see my training in psychology as excellent preparation for a distinguished career in Nursing.

I look forward to many decades to come working with and studying those who experience chronic pain or transition from acute to chronic pain as a result of a disability and/or genetic disorder. Pain is known to be correlated with mental health disorders, so teaching an adolescent to manage that pain through positive coping strategies is essential. I will bring critically important life experience to the program and to the patients that I will be treating. My central, long-term research area is focused on those adolescent females who experience chronic pain as a result of a disability and/or genetic disorder. I want to be able to intervene before negative coping strategies result in mental health concerns such as anxiety or depression. I would be especially honored to work with any of the faculty involved with the XXXX Center for Orphan Disease Research. Ultimately, I hope to continue my studies as an FNP and eventually earn a doctoral degree.

After graduation from college, I began working as a research assistant with the Department of Psychology at the Children’s Cancer Clinic at the University of XXXX Medical Center. Our work on the cognitive perception of acute versus chronic pain has vastly increased my interest in pediatric pain, especially in disadvantaged populations. I also gained clinical experience in my time since graduation. Through my current role as a project coordinator, I developed a deep interest and empathy for individuals with ADHD, Autism, and other, often quite severe, presentations of developmental disorders. In the future, I hope to conduct clinical research that leads to a better understanding and treatment of pain psychopathologies, especially rare, genetic disorders. I’m especially interested in less viable symptoms (e.g., pain perception deficits and emotion dysregulation) and their presentation in under-researched populations including girls, young adults and high-IQ individuals. I look forward to a full immersion experience in the exploration of the efficacy and application of multimodal treatment methods, especially those incorporating mindfulness, exercise and behavioral psychology. Working simultaneously in research and clinical settings has helped me to appreciate the value of bench-to-bedside perspectives, and I hope to incorporate both research and clinical practice into my nursing career.

I thank you for considering my application to Nursing at XXXX.


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Sample 1st Paragraph for the MSN Degree, Psychiatric Mental Health Advanced Nurse Practitioner

Perhaps because I completed my undergraduate studies in business administration and have always excelled at the study of human organization, I have tended to think in terms of structural rather than individual responses to social problems. After working in the mental health field now for more than 4 years, developing a focus and a great passion for helping the underserved, in particular, I find myself mesmerized by the connection between poverty and social class on the one hand and mental health issues on the other. As a result, I look forward to advancing my career in the area of Mental Health Nursing so as to not only qualify myself to continue providing direct patient care, but also to develop my professional voice and be able, within time, to effectively direct my attention to the root causes of mental health issues in my community, so that future generations will not have to suffer to the extent to which is the case with those for whom I care daily.

Statements of Excellence for Admission to Masters Degree Programs in Nursing

Florence Nightingale: "The Lady with the Lamp."

Florence Nightingale: Changing the Field of Nursing - Fast Facts. Florence Nightingale was so respected in the field of nursing that she was tapped to consult with the British Army.

Florence Nightingale - How Has Nursing Evolved.

Sample 1st Paragraph Master’s Degree Nursing, African-American Health Care Issues

First a Licensed Practical Nurse for 18 years, I have spent the last six years as a Registered Nurse and will be completing my BSN Degree this August of 2016. I am keen and eager for further training so that I might have the privilege of making my maximum contribution to my community as a nursing professional. As an African-American woman, I have long been especially concerned with the special health issues that confront the African-American community, particularly hypertension. In my spare time, I read a lot about the special health issues that confront African-Americans, how they are impacted by or vulnerable to cancer, for example. I have the special hope of being able to participate in research in these areas as a student working towards the MSN Degree at XXXX University and beyond.

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Heroines of Nursing

Florence Nightingale, the quintessential heroine of nursing lived an extraordinary life and had an extraordinary character. It’s a pleasure to read about her, and a pleasure to honor her. We think the most amazing thing about her is how she used her education to change so many people’s lives.

Florence Nightingale was born in May, 1820, in Florence, Italy. She was the younger of two siblings.

Nightingale's affluent British family belonged to elite social circles: her mother, Frances Nightingale, was born into a family of merchants and took pride in socializing with people of prominent social standing.

Despite her mother's interest in social climbing, Florence herself was reportedly awkward in social situations and preferred to avoid being the center of attention whenever possible.

Strong-willed, Florence often butted heads with her mother, whom she viewed as overly controlling, but—like many daughters—she was eager to please her mother. "I think I have something more good-natured and complying," Florence wrote in her own defense, concerning the mother-daughter relationship.

Florence's father was called William Shore Nightingale. He was a wealthy landowner who inherited two estates—one at Lea Hurst, Derbyshire, and the other in Hampshire, Embley Park—when Florence was 5 years old. Florence was raised on the family estate at Lea Hurst, where her father provided her with a classical education, including studies in German, French and Italian—which she became fluent in—and classical Greek and Latin.

From a very young age, Florence was active in philanthropy, ministering to the ill and poor people in the village neighboring her family’s estate, and by the time she was 16 years old, it was clear to her that nursing was her calling. She believed it was her divine purpose.

When Florence approached her parents and told them about her ambitions to become a nurse, they were not pleased at all. Her parents forbade her to pursue nursing. During the Victorian Era, a young lady of Nightingale's social stature was expected to marry a man of means, not take up a job that was viewed as lowly menial labor by the upper social classes. When Nightingale was 17, she refused a marriage proposal from a "suitable" gentleman, Richard Monckton Milnes.

Florence said that while he stimulated her intellectually and romantically, her "moral…active nature…requires satisfaction, and that would not find it in this life."

Determined to pursue her true calling despite the objections, Florence enrolled as a nursing student at the Lutheran Hospital of Pastor Fliedner in Kaiserswerth, Germany in 1844.

In the War Effort

In the early 1850s, Florence returned to London, where she took a nursing job at a Middlesex hospital for ailing governesses. Her performance there impressed her employer, and she was promoted to superintendent within just a year of being hired.

The position proved challenging as Florence struggled against a cholera outbreak and unsanitary conditions conducive to the rapid spread of the disease. She made it her mission to improve hygiene practices, lowering the death rate at the hospital. The hard work took a toll on her health. In fact, Florence actually did most of her good work while ill and housebound. She had just barely recovered when the biggest challenge of her nursing career came about.

In late 1853, the Crimean War broke out—the British Empire was at war with the Russian Empire for control of the Ottoman Empire. Thousands of British soldiers were sent to the Black Sea, where supplies rapidly dwindled. By the year 1854, 18,000 soldiers had been admitted into military hospitals.

At that time, there were actually zero female nurses stationed at hospitals in the Crimea. The poor reputation of past female nurses meant the war office avoided hiring more. However, after the Battle of Alma, England was in an uproar about the neglect of their ill and injured soldiers, who lacked sufficient medical attention due to hospitals being horribly understaffed, but also languished in appallingly unsanitary and inhumane conditions.

Awesomely, in late 1854, Nightingale received a letter from Secretary of War Sidney Herbert, asking her to organize a corps of nurses to tend to the sick and fallen soldiers in the Crimea. Nightingale immediately responded, and quickly assembled a team of 34 nurses from a variety of religious orders, and sailed with them to the Crimea just a couple of days later.

Though they had been warned of the horrid conditions there, nothing would have prepared Nightingale and her nurses for what they saw when they arrived at Scutari, the British base hospital in Constantinople.

The hospital sat on top of a large cesspool, which contaminated the water and the hospital building. Patients lay on in their own excrement on stretchers strewn throughout the hallways, as rodents and bugs scurried past.

The most basic supplies, like bandages and soap, grew increasingly scarce as the number of ill and wounded steadily increased. Even water was rationed. More soldiers were dying from infectious diseases like typhoid and cholera than from the injuries they had incurred during battle.

No-nonsense Nightingale (that should have been her nickname!) quickly got to work. She obtained hundreds of scrubbing brushes, and asked the least infirm patients to scrub the inside of the hospital from floor to ceiling.

She then spent every waking minute caring for the soldiers personally. In the evenings, she moved through the dark hallways carrying a lamp while making her rounds, ministering to patient after patient. What a lady!

The soldiers, who were both moved and comforted by her seemingly endless supply of compassion, took to calling her "the Lady with the Lamp." Others called her "the Angel of the Crimea." Her work reduced the hospital’s death rate by two-thirds in a short time.

In additional to vastly improving the sanitary conditions of the hospital, Florence created a number of patient services that contributed to improving the quality of their hospital stay: she instituted the creation of an "invalid's kitchen," where appealing food for patients with special dietary requirements was cooked.

She also established a laundry so that patients would have clean linens. She also instituted a classroom and a library for the patients' intellectual stimulation and entertainment.

Based on her observations in the Crimea, Florence wrote an 830-page report analyzing her experience and proposing reforms for other hospitals operating under poor conditions, called: Notes on Matters Affecting the Health, Efficiency and Hospital Administration of the British Army.

This book sparked the complete restructuring of the War Office's administrative department. They established a Royal Commission for the Health of the Army in 1857 based on her work.

Nightingale remained at Scutari for a year and a half, while the Crimean war was still going on. She left in mid-1856, when the war ended, and returned to her childhood home at Lea Hurst.

To her surprise, Florence was met with a hero's welcome. The humble nurse did her best to avoid, but The Queen of England rewarded Nightingale's work by presenting her with an engraved brooch that came to be known as the "Nightingale Jewel." She was granted a prize of $250,000 from the British government.

Florence decided to use the money to further her cause, and in 1860, she funded the St. Thomas' Hospital. The Nightingale Training School for Nurses was established within it.

Florence became a figure of public admiration. The people loved her, as did the press. Poems, songs and plays were written and dedicated in the heroine's honor; young women aspired to be like her.

Eager to follow her example, women from the wealthy upper classes started enrolling at the training school. Thanks to Florence, nursing was no longer frowned upon by the upper classes; it had, in fact, come to be viewed as an honorable vocation.

While at Scutari, Florence contracted "Crimean fever". She actually never recovered. By the time she was 38 years old, she was homebound and bedridden, and stayed that way. But she remained dedicated as ever to improving health care and alleviating patients’ suffering, and continued her work from her bed.

Residing in Mayfair, she remained an authority and advocate of health care reform. The interviewed politicians and welcomed distinguished visitors from her bed. She published Notes on Hospitals, which focused on how to properly run civilian hospitals in 1859.

Throughout the U.S. Civil War, she was frequently consulted about how to best manage field hospitals, and she served as an authority on public sanitation issues in India for both the military and civilians (though she had never been to India herself).

At the age of 88, she was conferred the merit of honor by King Edward. Around two years later, she received a congratulatory message from King George on her 90th birthday.

In August 1910, Florence sadly fell ill, but seemed to recover and was reportedly in good spirits. A week later, on August 12, 1910, she developed an array of troubling symptoms, and died unexpectedly at 2 pm the following day, at her home in London.

Characteristically, she had expressed the desire that her funeral be a quiet and modest affair. Respecting her last wishes, her family turned down a national funeral. The "Lady with the Lamp" was laid to rest at St. Margaret's Church, East Wellow, in Hampshire, England.

The Florence Nightingale Museum, located on the site of the original Nightingale Training School for Nurses, houses more than 2,000 artifacts commemorating the life and career of the "Angel of the Crimea."

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