I have many goals and aspirations in life. However, through my undergraduate and work experiences as a certified nurse, I was able to discover my true calling—to become a family nurse practitioner. Thus, with optimism, I am looking forward to a more challenging and fulfilling career in the field of family nursing. I feel that the time has come for me to take another step towards achieving my goals, some of which are short-term.
One of my short-term goals is to learn new things and gain more knowledge about family nursing practices, which I can achieve by becoming a part of the Family Nurse Practitioner Program of (insert name of university here). I believe that by continuing my studies in this university, I will be armed with the appropriate skills and knowledge that can make me a successful family nurse in the future. Completing the said program with flying colors and becoming a certified family nurse practitioner are also part of my short-term goals. To achieve this, I intend to strive towards attaining several short-term goals under this.
One is to repay my would-be mentors by studying harder and fulfilling the assigned tasks and projects. It would be a great privilege to be accepted in this university and therefore, it is only right for me to do my very best. By staying committed to my studies, I also aim to reach another short-term sub-goal: to show an exemplary academic and practical performance. I believe that I can attain this with the help of (insert name of university) where I can definitely acquire skills and knowledge that are beyond those that are needed to practice family nursing through its reputable mentors and resources.
Being a family nurse practitioner is a noble profession. It practice requires patience and dedication. Once I attain my short-term goals, I plan to pursue my long-term goals of providing healthcare to families that need my service the most. I wish to go beyond the conventional family nursing practice by offering the patients utmost care and taking care not only of their health needs but their personal needs as well. I plan to devote myself to becoming a family nurse practitioner and a family member of the patients whom I will be serving. After all, when you care for a person, you wish the best for them.
Also, in order to meet my long term goal, I will help meet the primary healthcare needs of the families I will take care of to prevent them from having or developing illnesses and for them to have good health maintenance. As one of my long-term goals, I am also looking forward to having a family of my own where I can apply my profession by maintaining my family’s health needs at an excellent status. This will all be made possible by attending Family Nurse Practice Program at (insert name of university here). Finally, I plan to specialize in providing healthcare services for the older generation by becoming a gerontologic nurse practitioner.
I aim to focus in this field and fulfilling this long-term goal not only because it is highly in demand due to the many baby boomers that require this service, but also because I love taking care of the elderly and have a great respect for them. I know that a job of a family nurse practitioner is not easy. But, when I become a family nurse practitioner, I will never surrender and I will take my responsibilities to heart. I am really motivated to succeed. I can also clearly see my goals in front of me. Hence, I will just look straight ahead, ignoring the petty obstacles such as fear and overcoming the difficulties that I will encounter.
- Gilbert, David N., Robert C. Moellering, and Merle A. Sande. The Sanford guide to antimicrobial therapy. Vol. 48. Antimicrobial Therapy Incorporated, 2003.
- McDowell, H. M. “Family nurse practitioner.” International nursing review 31.6 (1984): 177-179.
- Linn, Lawrence S. “Patient acceptance of the family nurse practitioner.” Medical Care (1976): 357-364.
- Spitzer, Walter O., et al. “The Burlington randomized trial of the nurse practitioner.” New England Journal of Medicine290.5 (1974): 251-256.
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Admission to a nurse practitioner (NP) program is competitive. NP program class sizes are generally small and typically only admit between 10 to 15 students each year. However, interest in the programs are high. It is not unusual for an NP program to receive one hundred or more applications for those few slots.
Each program establishes minimum requirements that an applicant must meet to be considered for admission. NP program requirements will differ for each school, so be sure to check whether you meet the admission criteria before beginning the application process. Requirements usually include:
- Minimum GPA.
- Minimum amount of work experience as a registered nurse (RN).
- List of references who can speak directly to your skills and accomplishments.
- Graduate Record Examination (GRE) results.
Meeting the entrance requirements is only the first step. You will also be asked to write an admission essay and you may be called in for a personal interview. How you perform during the application process will determine whether you stand out from the crowd or fade into the background.
Here are three things that will help you demonstrate to the selection committee that you have what it takes to be a successful graduate student and future NP.
1. An Understanding of the NP Role
You should be comfortable describing the role of an NP in detail. You must speak articulately about the NP scope of practice and be able to intelligently discuss the state laws governing practice and the challenges facing the profession. Show that you understand that being an NP is about more than prescribing privileges. Do enough research that you know better than to say things such as “working under a physician” or “midlevel.” Using outdated language shows you didn’t do your homework and can jeopardize your application.
2. Leadership Experience
Your past clinical experience is important, but the role of the NP requires a very high level of autonomy and responsibility that goes beyond bedside nursing. Admissions committees are looking for examples of your leadership experience, something that indicates you have pushed yourself beyond your comfort zone.
What additional roles beyond staff nurse have you held? Have you chaired a committee or led a workgroup? The admission committee will want to see proof that you have grown over the course of your RN career and stepped up to take on higher-level duties and responsibilities. If you haven’t, then you might want to hold off on your application until you have gained some additional leadership experience.
3. Proof You Can Finish the Program
This is the unspoken elephant in the room. Grad school is hard and NP programs are rigorous. Admissions committees like to see evidence that you have done the planning and can navigate the financial and family stresses that go along with acceptance into an NP program. Schools are not a fan of students who do not successfully complete a program. You need to prove that you have put enough thought into how you will survive the two to four years it will take for you to finish the program.
Once your application is received, most universities use a system that assigns points to each individual requirement. The applicant is then ranked according to the total score. Your essay and interview is how you will show your true readiness for the next step in your career and thus will carry at least as much weight as your grades and experience. If you can speak clearly to the three points I have outlined, you will greatly increase your chances of admission.
See what job opportunities await once you finish your NP program.
About Renee Dahring, NP
Renee Dahring, NP, has worked as a family nurse practitioner in the prison and jail system since 2001. In addition to her clinical practice, she helped build and grow a successful staffing company in Minnesota and teaches nursing as adjunct faculty at the University of Minnesota. Dahring also writes a blog with career and job search tips for Advance for NPs and PAs, and manages a website that offers career advice at NPCareerCoach.com.