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My name is Jessica Thompson, and I am a second-year nursing student at Linfield University in McMinnville, OR. Currently, I am working towards earning my Bachelor of Science in Nursing, and my lifelong career goal is to become a Certified Nursing Midwife (CNM) with my Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP). I have lived in Canby, OR my entire life, and I identify as a first generation college student. Last year I participated as a mentee in Linfield University’s First Scholars Program, and I am now a student coordinator and mentor for the program.
One of the main struggles that I have faced during my life is being a first generation college student. I grew up as an only child with just my mom, and she did not have all the answers to the questions I had about college and pursuing a nursing career. This experience has challenged me to seek out the answers to my questions and to ask for help when I need it. One example of a challenge I faced as a first generation college student was understanding what a normal college student’s life looked like. I had a difficult time finding the correct balance between classes and social events. During my first semester of college, I focused mainly on my classwork. While my grades did reflect all the hard work I put into them, I was having a troublesome time forming strong friendships. After my first semester, I decided that I had to find the right balance that worked for my college life so that I would be successful socially and academically. Learning how to be self-sufficient as a first generation college student has made me an overall stronger person.
The Ambassador Program and the GlobalMindED Leadership Program have positively influenced my professional path by encouraging me to expand my outlook for my future. At the beginning of this school year, I was set on only getting my BSN, but now I am considering obtaining my DNP. Because of the classes I took during the fall semester and this program, I am now thinking about specializing as a nurse. Being in college and getting to be in the GlobalMindED program has made me realize that there is always more that I can do in life, if/when I choose to do it.
I would be the strongest candidate for any job because I am independent and passionate about my work. Growing up with a single parent and my experience as a first generation college student have shaped my independence. One thing that is special about me that an employer cannot live without is the amount of passion that I carry with me. Science, medicine, and helping people are some of my greatest passions in life. As a future nurse, I know that my employers will see the passion that drives my work and focus. Once hired, I will set a new standard of excellence in nursing by using my knowledge and passion to care for my patients.
One aspect of the nursing field that frustrates me is the amount of information patients receive from their medical professionals without the proper explanation. I can personally compare this to being a first generation student. All high school students receive a lot of information about what they can do with their future, but not enough of the students know what to do with that information. I found this to be very confusing and challenging at times, and patients should not have to experience this. When I enter the workforce as a nurse, I will do my best to explain a patient’s condition to them and their family in simple terms. This step in patient care allows the patient to put more trust and confidence in the medical care they are receiving. I would also encourage my peers and co-workers to try to do the same with their patients. If more medical professionals took the time to do this with their patients, the medical field could see even more success than it already is.

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