This personal statement identifies some of the key obstacles in my life, and outlines my hopes and aspirations for the future. My intention is to discuss what I have learned in life and explain how the pursuit of my education and the fulfillment of my dreams are, in truth, an extension of the lessons I have learned during my life.
Life and Career
My interest in nursing can be traced to my educational experiences in high school, where I excelled at science and mathematics. Encouraged by my success in these classes, I began to follow a curriculum that would position me for a career in medicine. I am a naturally caring and dedicated person and I derive considerable satisfaction from helping others. As I weighed my career options, it became clear that my academic skills and personal characteristics made nursing a natural fit for me.
A native of Torrance, Calif., I was raised in Tijuana, Baja, where I attended nursing school, during which time I was kept quite busy with a full schedule of nursing courses. I found myself fascinated by what a career in nursing had to offer, both in opportunities for advancement and personal fulfillment. After three years of nursing school in Mexico, I left for the United States in 2001, seeking employment and a new start. My present circumstances, and my desire to renew my nursing career, have motivated me to work to better myself.
I have two children, ages 13 and 5, and I work extremely hard to care for them. The father of my eldest, my son Bryant, was a police officer and I had high hopes that we would form a loving family. Unfortunately, he became involved in drugs and, concerned for my son’s welfare, I decided to end our relationship. Forced to support my son as a single mother, my time and efforts were taken up with working long, hard hours in order to support us both. Consequently, there was little time to further my education or career goals.
The father of my daughter, Mia, promised to marry me, even offering a wedding ring as a token of that pledge. But he failed to follow through on his promise, having met a younger woman with whom he subsequently became involved. With two young children who rely on me for survival, I must do everything within my power to see that they are healthy and happy, but it is very difficult. I do not receive child support and so I am forced to work very long hours, a situation that has become a self-perpetuating cycle. My ambition to become a nurse has carried me through some of my worst moments, but it is nevertheless extremely difficult to maintain an optimistic outlook.
Sometimes I find myself thinking about the lessons I’ve learned in life. I’ve learned that, while you must ensure that your children have what they need, it is also very important to do what you enjoy, to pursue a career you know will make you happy. To me, this means more than just having a goal in life, it’s about following your dream. My experience has shown me that it’s very difficult to maintain a positive outlook and be the parent you want to be for your children if you are constantly worrying about making ends meet and wondering whether you will ever find your niche in life. Every good parent makes sacrifices for their children, but I think it is also important to try and serve your own ends if achieving those ends means your family will benefit from your success and from the feeling of self-worth that comes with accomplishment and perseverance.
Upon reflection, I believe the fathers of my two children were examples of how easy it can be to lose your way in life. My son’s father had a promising career in law enforcement. His job not only put him in a position of authority, his was a career capable of earning him the respect of others, even making him a role model for our son and for other young people.
I believe that when he turned to drugs, as so many do, he took the easy path and lost his way, both personally and professionally. My daughter’s father broke a sacred promise when he reneged on his marriage proposal, electing to turn his back on me and on his daughter, rejecting responsibility in favor of personal satisfaction. I try not to be too judgmental, but I do try to learn something from the actions of others and apply those lessons to my own life. Life is full of cautionary tales and I believe that being mindful of those lessons can help one avoid pitfalls that threaten to lead you away from your dreams.
In spite of the obstacles that confront me, I have determined that my best hope for a better life, for a chance to spend more time with my children and avoid working low-paying jobs lies in continuing my education. However, money is extremely tight with rent, groceries, bills and other expenses needing to be paid. And, of course, my children require a great deal of my personal attention, such as helping with their homework. They are both still quite young and, since I am a single parent, I don’t have the luxury of sharing parenting duties, nor do I enjoy the physical and emotional support a significant other can provide. At times, I have found myself overwhelmed by feelings of anger and depression. I’ve done my best not to let it get the best of me and try to focus on what I need to do. I know I have to keep going.
Fortunately, my dreams and career aspirations keep me going. Determination and will power can carry one a long way and I am using that drive to help pave the way to a better life. I have decided to continue my education in order to renew my phlebotomy license. This is a specialty area I feel holds a great deal of promise for me and I have begun my coursework. So far, things have gone well and I feel confident that I am making the right decision.
I get a tremendous feeling of satisfaction knowing that when I am working as a full-time nurse, I will be providing my children with the material benefits they need to get a good start in life.
Another important consideration, once I have returned to nursing, is the prospect of being able to further my medical career and parlay my experience into other opportunities. For example, I may decide that I’d like to work toward becoming a nurse practitioner, which would give the chance to interact with patients on a more in-depth basis. Or I might choose to specialize in a specific treatment area, such as geriatrics or pediatrics. It’s exciting to think that, with hard work and faith, possibilities such as these may present themselves to me. With this in mind, and with the long-term welfare of my family at heart, I am motivated to make the most of the educational and professional opportunities that lie before me.