Erika S. DiVivo – August 2012 Scholar of the Month
2010 CHCI-United Health Foundation Scholar Intern
Hometown: Jersey City, NJ
School: Hudson County Community College
Degree: AS, Nursing
1. What field of study do you intend to pursue if you receive the CHCI Scholarship?
I am a registered nurse currently enrolled full-time at Hudson County Community College. I have been accepted into Bayonne Medical Center’s School of Nursing Program for the fall 2011. In the future, I plan to further my education and complete the RN-BSN degree at Rutgers in Newark. Currently, I have an Associate’s of Occupational Studies degree in graphic design. I graduated in 1995 from Pratt Institute in New York and graphic design has been my profession for 15 years.
I have selected nursing as a second career because I want to be working in a field where I can help people and make a difference in their lives. Nursing will be a career where I believe I can do just that! My career in nursing can benefit the Latino community because I will be a role model and mentor for people of Hispanic backgrounds. I will be the first member of my family to graduate from college with an associate’s degree in Science and receive a diploma from the School of Nursing.
As a registered nurse, I will treat patients, teach patients, and their families how to manage their illness or injury, educate patients and the public about various medical conditions, and provide advice and emotional support to patients’ family members. My grandmother, Helen Gomez, was a RN in a public health clinic. She was an inspiration to me because she was a confidant woman with a rewarding career.
I have chosen to get an associate’s degree in Science at HCCC because it is affordable, will give me clinical experience, and can get me out into the workforce in an efficient time frame. HCCC will be a platform where I can complete the necessary general requirements for nursing and transfer to a four-year college to obtain my bachelor’s degree. My future career goal is to receive a master’s degree at Rutgers to be a nurse practitioner.
2. How Has the Scholarship Changed Your Life?
The Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute has assisted me in achieving my goal of becoming a registered nurse by helping pay a portion of the tuition for my first year of nursing school. CHCI has offered financial assistance that alleviates some of the monetary pressures associated with school and helps me to focus my efforts towards my studies. The generous donation of the Dell computer allows me to use the CD-ROM study guides that come with my textbooks. Previously, I was not able to access the CDs using the school’s computer lab.
I have completed one semester at Bayonne Medical Center’s School of Nursing and my gained knowledge as a student nurse will give me an advantage in my 80-hour internship at Jersey City Medical Center. Learning to manage my time and prioritize are nursing skills that I have acquired in clinical this past semester. I believe the internship experience will help prepare me for the real world by exposing me to a diverse group of patients and their family members, nurses, and hospital staff. Understanding people’s cultures and values will benefit me when I work as a registered nurse and travel anywhere outside my home. In the future, I plan to transfer to Rutgers-Newark or NJCU to complete the RN-BSN degree program. My long-term career goals are to receive a master’s degree of Science in Nursing at Rutgers, and to become a nurse practitioner or certified nurse midwife.