Personal
Statement for Matti Smith, RN

                The
role of a nurse. This is truly a great responsibility and privilege. Author Thom
Dick once said: “You’re going to be there when a lot of people are born, and
when a lot of people die. In most every culture, such moments are regarded as
sacred and private, made special by a divine presence. No one on Earth would be
welcomed, but you’re personally invited. What an honor that is.”. As a nurse, I
am filled with gratitude for the many years I have been able to stand, sit, and
kneel at the beside of the patients I have cared for. Whether witnessing lives
come into the world, holding the hands of patients and family members as others
have left, or witnessing the joy as family members return from the brink, it
truly has been an honor. However, in this season of my career and in my life, I
find myself with the desire to do more. To be more. To serve those around me
and further change healthcare as we know it. 
There are many differences between a Registered Nurse (RN) and a Family
Nurse Practitioner (FNP), and I feel the strengths I bring to the FNP program
at Westminster College will help prepare me to make such changes.

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                As
a FNP, my goal is to help further transform healthcare by using the science and
theories of nursing to improve the health of those from all backgrounds,
cultures, ages, and diversities. This includes urban and rural settings.  I hope to engage more with the communities
around me and to do so with cultural inclusiveness and integrity. I feel that
by doing this I can apply the leadership, steadfastness, and compassion of a
FNP to truly and wholly help the patients I will care for.

                I
perceive that the differences between the RN and the FNP are based on the idea
that the foundation for a role as an advanced caregiver is built and expanded
upon the foundations learned as a RN. 
Both RN’s and FNP’s provide care to patients. However, aside from the
additional education and extensive clinical training required for a FNP, the
advanced practitioner also functions in a significantly greater autonomous
role. This allows them to diagnose and develop treatment plans for illnesses,
including prescribing medications. They can see patients on their own as a
primary provider, or work alongside and refer to a physician or specialist if
required. Because of the increased level of autonomy, a FNP has greater
responsibility to their patient. It is that responsibility that sets the bar
higher and sets the FNP apart from the RN.

                The
strengths that I bring to the FNP role are numerous. I am very much a self-starter
that pays attention to detail and to the organization of my responsibilities. I
pride myself in being able to easily communicate complicated topics to different
audiences, including patients and colleagues. I excel in my complex decision
making skills and my ability to adapt to various and often rapidly changing
patient care situations. I delight in working with and caring for people of all
cultural backgrounds and diversities. In my 13 years as a labor and delivery
nurse at the two largest hospitals in the Salt Lake Valley, I have cared for
and connected with people from all walks of life. The very young and the very
old, the very rich and the very poor, the refugee, the prisoner, the famous and
everything in between. I have seen the joy of life and the shattering
heartbreak of maternal and fetal loss. In my years as a flight nurse for AirMed
and Life Flight, I have had a chance to care for patients from all circumstances
outside of my community as well. My time with these patients is usually some of
the most stressful and terrifying moments of their lives. Through all these
experiences, I have always strived to show empathy and compassion, while also
doing the hard work necessary in the face of difficult obstacles to provide the
best outcomes. I feel that through these experiences, and the qualities mentioned
above, I will be able to genuinely make a significant difference as a FNP.

                The
roles of a FNP are numerous. With the increased autonomy in those roles, comes
the opportunity to have a positive impact in the transformation of
healthcare.  I know that the many
strengths I bring to this program in combination with the outstanding education
I would receive at Westminster College, I will be best prepared to transition to
the role of a Family Nurse Practitioner and better care for those in the
community around me. What an honor that would be.