I am thinking about applying

Thank you all for the encouragement; telling me I am smart, and can be a CEO if I wanted to be.  You continue to give me courage when I have self doubt.

I was half joking when I said maybe I should join the Peace Corps.  I am considering it as an option.  I have been unable to find clinical volunteer opportunities this semester.  I came across a volunteer doula program at SF General Hospital that looks interesting, but it requires training which only begins in April.  I am not interested in women’s health or childbirth but I think it would be good skills to have, to be able to support someone through their experience.  This program also specifically supports low income, under-served communities.

I started thinking about a Masters in Public Health because as a NP or PA, you serve individual patients, with specific diseases or injuries, maybe a small community; but with an MPH, I can focus on a larger picture of global health.  Working with entire communities promoting healthy practices and behaviors, like ensuring clean air and water; disease prevention; screening for health risks; dealing with obesity, violence, and sexual assault.  I’ve read a few student profiles and they seem to be doing work that seems really interesting to me.

Here are two female students doing amazing work:

http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/news/multimedia-article/why-public-health-kimberly-chang/

http://nursing.jhu.edu/life-at-hopkins/profiles/student/jean-garcia-davis

Plan A:  August – apply to San Francisco State University’s accelerated entry level master of science in nursing program.  Entry January 2017.  Complete school at the end of 2018, begin work as a nurse in 2019, apply fall 2020 for: John Hopkins’ MSN-NP/MPH program, Harvard’s MPH program, Stanford/Foothill’s PA program or UCDavis’ PA/NP dual program.

Plan B:  July – apply to the Peace Corps as a Community Health volunteer in Africa or a Spanish speaking country.  It’s more likely I would go to Africa, since a Spanish country would likely be too humid and hot for me.  Notified of acceptance in September.  Put everything in storage again and depart by January.  Two year commitment, return in 2019, apply to the same programs as above, having completed the 1000-3000 clinical direct patient volunteer hours.  I will not have a nursing degree but can apply directly to a PA or MPH program’s and be a competitive applicant.  If positioned in Africa, I can accumulate more passport stamps.  It’s actually not that difficult to think of this as a viable option.

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