Sarahí Almonte '14
"I was amazed at the connection I had with the nurses," she said. "I can tell you the name of every nurse who took care of me."
As a community activist, Almonte worked on a range of health care-related issues in her professional life, including health care reform, AIDS and other issues impacting her community.
But she felt a calling to do even more. "I realized I wanted to have a greater impact. I had this 'I am needed' moment."
Almonte decided to enroll in Quinnipiac's accelerated BSN program, designed for students who have gotten degrees in other subjects. She holds a master's degree in political science.
Almonte knew the transition to nursing would be challenging. But she was confident that her other skills--including a natural ability to connect with people and fluent Spanish skills--would help her bridge the gap.
"This has been the toughest academic challenge of my life," Almonte acknowledges. She feels fortunate that Quinnipiac offers a comprehensive academic and personal support system, not to mention the encouragement she's gotten from family.
It was the personal attention she received that made Quinnipiac stand out in her school search. "They told me, they're really interested in what I could bring to nursing," not just her GPA or test scores, Almonte said. "I liked the personal touch. I really felt a relationship was being built."
Almonte has big ideas for her future career in nursing; she wants to be a catalyst for positive change. "There will always be that advocacy part in everything I do," she says. "I want to be that nurse that keeps you out of the hospital."
Almonte is particularly interested in advocating for culturally competent care, especially for the growing Hispanic community. Given the high prevalence of diabetes and high blood pressure in this population, Almonte says, it's critical for health care providers to understand the contributing factors, such as a diet with rice as its staple food. Educating patients--in a language and vocabulary they understand--is at the heart of the solution.
She's also interested in improving health care for the lesbian community. Almonte says doctors often make incorrect assumptions about same-sex couples--and consequently, they may not ask important questions, such as about domestic violence and alcoholism.
"There's so much I want to do. I feel like I won't have enough life time to do it," says Almonte, 35.
More School of Nursing Spotlights
Nursing professor Cynthia Barrere is passionate about affecting positive change in nursing and patient care.
Serve Your Passion
Miguel Rosa witnessed life & death situations while deployed in Afghanistan. The experience inspired the young father to shift his career path from finance to nursing.
Safety Net for Seniors
Nurse Dana Garvey ’03 helped make the emergency room at a local hospital more senior-friendly.
Students in the School of Nursing have the opportunity to interact with leaders in the profession at special events held on campus throughout the year.