Personal Statement for Grad School

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    I am senior college student applying to a graduate nursing program tailored to students who are not nursing as an undergraduate degree. As part of my application I have to write a personal statement. I was hoping that I could get some feed back that can help me to edit this paper.

    Also, I am not positive this is the right discussion board to post under, so if it is not, sorry.

    Personal Statement (First Draft)

    While preparing to apply for the Graduate Entry Nursing Program, I was looking back on my life thinking about what brought me to the point of graduate school, on the cusp of pursuing a career that had, until recently, felt more like a dream than possible reality. I can remember when I first had the aspiration of being a nurse; it was not necessarily the same concept for which I communicate my ambitions today.

    I was in fourth grade, and it was October, that crucial time of the year when a kid had to decide what to be for Halloween. As most kids were scrambling to the nearest costume store to buy their Superman or Batman costumes, I was steady in my resolve, because I had decided weeks earlier that I was going to go as a nurse. I had collected every part of my costume; I had the scrubs, I had the stethoscope, I had my mask, I was ready. This was, perhaps, the first time nursing ever crossed my mind, and it may have been that Halloween when my career aspirations of nursing began.

    A career in nursing is more diverse than any other available today. It requires a kind heart, a sharp mind, and a passion for lifelong learning, all characteristics I possess. It is not an easy career choice, but a challenge I thoroughly look forward to embracing.
    A good nurse must be nimble on their feet, conscientious, trustworthy and able to quickly establish compassionate relationships with new patients everyday. The demands are high, however it is because of this that the rewards are so great. Nursing requires a combination of supreme understanding of the science of health and a caring bedside manor befitting only those who seek a position with such a personal involvement in the patientís well being. It is my extraordinary amount of empathy and caring, in combination with a passion for science and health that makes nursing the perfect career for me.

    A good nurse must also be very socially adept, as they will attain to a patientís social and emotional health as much as their physical health. I highly enjoy working with people, doing whatever it takes to improve their life and day, whether that means providing them with the best care possible, or just being there for them with a hug to get through a tough time. There is nothing that gives me greater enjoyment than improving someoneís day, whether it is just taking the time to sit with him or her and talk or something as simple as a smile given to someone who may not have one.

    I have always known the career I chose would have to involve work with people, as it is something I am very passionate about. Through various volunteer organizations I have been able to do this during my adolescence, and I think being a Family Nurse Practitioner would allow me to continue this into adulthood, as well as provide me with a lucrative career.

    I came to ____ _____ as a freshman pursing a bachelourette degree in nursing, but applied to the college without success. I was therefore presented with a dilemma upon completion of my second year. I knew, without a doubt, that my future career lay in nursing and no amount of adversity was going to keep me from achieving this. However, I was two years into my undergraduate studies without a major. It was at this time that I decided the best path for me to take at this point would be to complete my undergraduate degree at ____ _____ with a different major, and pursue nursing as a post graduate option. I chose Human Nutrition because of its relevance to a future nursing job, as well as its congruence to my previous course work. My specific field in nutrition has taught me not only an in depth understanding of the science involved in humans and their diet, but also differing techniques and theory behind promoting a healthy lifestyle and behavior change while working with patients in a personal, face-to-face setting. Having learned a great deal about nutrition and education, I have never strayed from my original aspirations of nursing. After attending a class concerning careers in medicine, I learned about the Graduate Entry Nursing Program. Upon speaking with an advisor about the program, I knew that it was the perfect choice for me. My original plan had always been to complete an undergraduate program in nursing and then continue my nursing education in graduate school. Through acceptance into the program here at ____ _____ I would be able to achieve both of these goals in only three years.

    Upon rejection from the College of Nursing I was encouraged by my mother to enroll in a course to become a State Trained Nursing Assistant, and see how I felt about a brief glance into the world of nursing. Throughout my training I was paired with an elderly gentleman, who, due to multiple strokes, was unable to verbally communicate or control the functioning of his limbs. During my seven-hour shift I spent the majority of my time with this gentleman, providing him with complete care, from feeding to bathing him. Although he was unable to speak, he was still very animated with his facial expressions and emotions. It was this patient that proved to me more than anything else that this was my passion. I came back the next day for my second seven-hour training session. After having already worked nine hours that day painting houses, I walked into that gentlemanís room and the smile that grew on his face once he saw me filled me with more happiness and satisfaction than I had felt in the longest time, and it was at that moment that nursing became cemented as my future career endeavor.

    The training I would receive in this graduate program would open the door to a world of opportunities. I will be given the opportunity to touch the lives of many people and help them in a way that most other people are not able. The roles of nurses are changing, allowing nurses to take on more responsibility. Through advanced training and acquisition of a nurse practitioner licensure I will have the amount of skill necessary to really make a difference in peopleís lives. I am interested in the Family Nurse Practitioner specialty because of all the responsibilities and freedoms that go along with it. The roles and responsibilities of a Family Nurse Practitioner are great in number, all of which are exciting to me. It excited me to think that as a Family Nurse Practitioner I would be responsible for diagnosing and treating various common and complex medical conditions. The defining characteristic that truly led me to pursue a Family Nurse Practitioner specialty is the broad range of patients for which I would be responsible. Caring for patients from childhood and throughout the aging process would be such a fulfilling experience, and although it will require a variety a knowledge and skill, it will be well worth the effort necessary to becoming such a multi-faceted nurse practitioner. I want to be the best, most skilled nurse practitioner that I can be, and I believe that by becoming a Family Nurse Practitioner I would be achieve this.

    Many of the personal characteristics that have lead me down the path of nursing, will help me to be the best nurse I possibly can. Along with my compassion for people, I am also a very hard-working individual. My strong work ethic has allowed me to earn a commendable grade point average (3.625) that will translate into hard work and quality grades throughout my graduate studies. I take great pride in being able to balance the various areas of my life, I have maintained good grades throughout high school and college all while working part time and participating in extracurricular activities, which has taught me how to budget my time well. My natural leading style, strong personality, and moral and ethical compass will suit my well as a nurse practitioner. The combinations of these characteristics in conjunction with my intrigue by everything about medicine make me a great fit for this program, and I would come prepared for the intense study requirements and come ready to absorb the knowledge and tools necessary for me to achieve my goals.

    If anyone is still reading I would really appreciate some feedback.

    Thank you
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  3. 3 Comments so far...

  4. 1
    I sent you a private message re: your statement.
    HopefulGradNurse88 likes this.
  5. 1
    Quote from HopefulGradNurse88
    it was not necessarily the same concept for which I communicate my ambitions today.
    This doesn't really make sense.

    bedside manor
    manner

    they will attain to a patientís social and emotional health
    That doesn't make sense - you can't "attain to" something. Attain means "get" or "reach".

    bachelourette degree in nursing
    Do you mean a bachelor degree? There's no such thing as a "bachelourette" degree.

    acquisition of a nurse practitioner licensure
    Acqusition of a license, or aquisition of licensure.

    My natural leading style
    "leadership style"

    will suit my well
    suit me well

    my intrigue by everything
    intrigue about?

    about medicine
    Don't you mean advanced practice nursing?

    Sorry to be a spelling & grammar nazi, but these things are pretty important for admissions staff.
    HopefulGradNurse88 likes this.
  6. 1
    hi there!

    i read your statement, and i think you have well thought out reasons for becoming a nurse. it's a great rough draft, but i do think you're in need of a little polish. i was a total wreck when i was writing my essays... i found it to be such an intense process because i wanted to let the admissions committee know how passionate i was while still keeping their interest. so i totally get what you must be going through!

    show, don't tell. every essay writing/personal statement article i've read has basically boiled down to that. in your statement, you tell the admissions committee all about the qualities that a good nurse posesses. the thing is, they already know this. instead, you want to show them how you posess those qualities. in fact, i would even recommend that you cut the first 5 paragraphs completely. all of that is great reasoning, but to a fresh reader it comes across as your internal thought process and not anything that shows you'd be a good nurse. overall, the statement is a bit long, and i think with careful wording you can cut out a lot of extra stuff. watch out for repeating statements or saying the same thing several times but with different words.

    the best part of your statement is in the experiences you had as a nursing assistant. that's what you need to expand on. that experience shows your compassion, empathy, experience in patient care, and ability to communicate. but again, show, don't tell. start the essay with a hook based on that experience. instead of:

    "throughout my training i was paired with an elderly gentleman, who, due to multiple strokes, was unable to verbally communicate or control the functioning of his limbs. during my seven-hour shift i spent the majority of my time with this gentleman, providing him with complete care, from feeding to bathing him. although he was unable to speak, he was still very animated with his facial expressions and emotions. it was this patient that proved to me more than anything else that this was my passion. i came back the next day for my second seven-hour training session. after having already worked nine hours that day painting houses, i walked into that gentlemanís room and the smile that grew on his face once he saw me filled me with more happiness and satisfaction than i had felt in the longest time, and it was at that moment that nursing became cemented as my future career endeavor. "

    try something like (and forgive me, i'm just making this up to give you an idea, i have no idea if this was true for you)

    "mr. smith told me everything i needed to know with his eyes. paralyzed by a series of strokes, he was robbed of the ability to communicate verbally. i soon learned that his condition did not suppress his spirit. through his animated facial expressions and emotions, he let me know when he was uncomfortable or if he was enjoying his meal. i felt i cfreated a bond with mr. smith over the course of my seven-hour shift."

    i think if you tell it like a story, it helps to keep the reader's interests.

    you might want to also think about the order of your statement as well as your transitions. here's what i would suggest. start with a story about the patient (which shows that you have medical experience as well as compassion), and how that cemented your future career endeavor. then explain that you wanted nursing school, but it didn't work out and you pursued nutrition as well as became a cna (you don't have to tell them how or why you discovered their program... all they need to know is that you want to be there). then explain that you don't just want to be a nurse, but a nurse practitioner, what specifically led you to that particular career, and what personal characteristics you have that will make you successful. and then end with why you want to go to school x and why that program will help you achieve your goals.

    sure, you had some spelling and grammar errors, but it's a first draft so that's totally ok. just make sure that you proofread very closely before you send it in. have some friends look at it, too. and if you have a career center at your current school, see if they have someone there who helps with grad school apps and essays. and see if you can find these books: how to write a winning personal statement for graduate and professional school by richard j. stelzer and the ultimate guide to getting into nursing school by genevieve e. chandler. both were hugely helpful to me.

    i hope my suggestions were helpful. best of luck to you!
    HopefulGradNurse88 likes this.


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