Do I have it in me? Can I do this? Will this make me happy? Oh the debt?!?!
I've been very hush hush about this, but I figure it's time to let the cat out of the bag. I'm going back to school. Actually, currently, I'm applying to programs. I spent most of September and October prepping for the GRE-not fun, took the GRE today-temerity, pure temerity, and now I'm polishing my essays. It's a wee bit stressful, all of this waiting and prepping, but I'm excited for the future. After much debate about what degree I wanted-MSN?, MBA?, MPH?- I decided on the MPH. Careful research lead me to schools with excellent programs and the option of a joint degree...just in case I'm bored and want to really have no life.
When I moved to New York, I had a two year commitment. Hard to believe that it's been over a year, time sure does fly. As luck may have it, when the 2009 fall semester begins, my commitment will be fulfilled. It's not that I want to leave the bedside, who wouldn't want the glamour of bedpans and bodily fluids, but I'm frustrated with my job. I feel stifled. I show up to work, do my job, learn as much as possible, but then I think about my patients and the plights that brought us together. I'm sitting there, taking patient histories, speaking with the fire and police departments, ruminating over what could have been done differently. Was there access to healthcare? Was there a language barrier or a knowledge deficit? Did socioeconimic status play a part in the accidnet? Regarding a MPH degree, I hope to focus on injury prevention while working to not only expand health care but also increase the ease of accesibility. Sure it's easy to grant someone the right to health care, but what if they don't have a car to get to and from, or if they work 3 minimum jobs to make ends meet and can't take time off? These are all things that you and I take for granted.
So where am I applying?
Columbia, Harvard, Yale, and Emory. Columbia, Yale, and Emory all have the options for a MSN/MPH or MPH/MBA dual degree, and although Harvard only offers the latter....I figure it would be cool to at least say, "I got into Haaaaavaad." (Maybe my Boston accent will return?)
All of the schools have unique opportunities-
Columbia- uh, location? I won't have to move! Dual degree with a great nursing program, opportunity to work with a professor who currently has a NIH grant in exactly what I want to focus on.
Yale- a super unique MPH with a concentration in health management. 1/2 business classes, 1/2 MPH classes. It's like a 2 -for-1 degree! Plus, I'm still only an hour and a half ouside New York, and I'm also only an hour and half from my family in Boston.
Harvard- my hometown ad my family! Opportunity do do research with their prestigious Medical school. Plus, to quote one of Memegrl's friends, "Going to Harvard is like getting "SMART" tattooed on your forehead
Emory- warm climate! Slighty cheaper tuition than the above mentioned schools. Uh, best of all the CDC is like righ tin their backyard! And for someone getting a degree in public health, the CDC is not an amazing resource but also incredible opportunity for making conection. Plus, I'd be close(er) to SheStartedIt's family and I sure do miss them!
A recurring theme, if you hadn't already noticed, was the issue of location. Although living in New York is great-where else can you get a whopping 400 square feet for $1700 a month?!?!?!-I'm not sure if it's worth staying and foregoing a amazing education opportunity. Tons of my friends from college live here now, but many of them are either in schoool or going back to school, so everyone is living in limbo. LC, MD (2nd years) and LR (1st year) are currently in law school, EM is starting law school in the fall, but hasn't decided where yet. Three of my friends from work are in grad school at Columbia and only working part time, but aren't sure if they will stay here after graduation. I have a friend in Dental school at Columbia, one in medical school at NYU, and another one at NYU's nursing school. See how complicated this is? I know most of you are probably thinking, quit whining, but true to my Type A-ness, I want to plan everything out and have it go smoothly.
Late one night at work, my friend K gave me some great advice. He told me that although many of the schools don't require it, to reqeust a personal interview. That way, I can get a better sense of them and they will get a better sense of me. It's easy to forget someone on paper, but when you have face to put with all that paperwork....
This is just the beginning of my journey, and I'll be sure to keep you updated. Any suggestions, advice, comments are welcome.
*Look out people, some day you are going to see Nurse Kelly changing the face of healthcare.* Now there's a bombastic comment.