Roterra Smith

Submitted 2022-10-21

I became a nurse because, at a very young age, I saw firsthand how essential nurses were to the healthcare paradigm when my grandfather was hospitalized for a cardiac crisis.  This was further solidified when my mom was emergently admitted to the hospital following an unexpected healthcare diagnosis of terminal colon cancer.  She was admitted to the hospital on August 15th and passed on September 14th.  The nurses were the glue to hold my father’s hand and me during this unexpected process.  The nurses gave me great introspection on how important it was to show compassion and care until the very end.  At the very beginning of my sophomore year of nursing school at the time, this gave me the drive I needed to finish strong because I had a guardian angel watching over me.  I am a first-generation college student and I know I had to continue to make my mom proud.  I spent 10 years at the bedside providing care in the realm of pediatric emergency trauma and from there I completed my master’s degree with Chamberlain and now am very close to finishing my Doctorate journey.  With these funds, I will be able to complete this terminal degree and continue my journey to translate evidence-based knowledge into improved bedside outcomes.  I am currently working as a nurse educator and thoroughly enjoy what I do but I am ready to have an even greater impact on the healthcare trajectory by translating the most up-to-date evidence to the bedside and beyond.  My current area of specialty is healthcare simulation, and I am very passionate about this healthcare adjunct because it allows participants and learners to practice those skills in a safe learning environment.  This environment allows errors to occur without consequence and corrections to be made through a knowledge-based debriefing process.  The learning that occurs in simulation can then be directly cross correlated to the bedside for improved patient outcomes and increased nursing knowledge, confidence, competence, and compassion.  This area of focus is important to me because I have had to practice CPR and ACLS many times in my career and personal life. I had to perform CPR on my 3-day old daughter and was able to successfully resuscitate her and she is alive and well to this day.  With this terminal degree, I will be able to write new healthcare simulation scenarios grounded in the latest evidence and provide new opportunities for learning and education regularly.  It has been shown that the more frequently and the more realistic healthcare simulations are the more likely that the clinical presentations represented will have a better effect on outcomes in a safe environment as well as at the bedside. Overall, receiving these funds will not only be life-changing for me but also will vastly impact my ability to change the world of healthcare one simulation at a time.  This will also allow me to show my children that you can complete anything you set your mind to and are willing to work diligently to make a change in the world.  I prayerfully hope you will consider my application and my passion to change the world with knowledge and evidence-based practice. 

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