Anita Parker

November 2011
Class of 2011


I believe this about nursing..."Nurses give back."

I was born in Tarma, Peru and lived there until I was 2 ½. My biological mother had me at the age of twenty and after the death of my biological father; she realized she could not afford to keep both my brother and me.  She gave me up first because I was the youngest and she knew I would die from either starvation or malnutrition. The healthcare in Peru was horrible; as a baby, I was severely sick and the native people put leeches on me to help heal me. My mother, Wendy Parker, adopted me at 2½ and saved my life. Being a clinical nurse specialist she believed that I went days without food or attention. It has been suspected that I experienced or witnessed trauma back then. Due to my mother’s background she was able to help me through the trauma by providing me the medical attention I required.

Being adopted has given me a different perspective that I’m not sure many people have. While there are times I may forget to be grateful, there are a lot of times when I think I could have it so much worse. From this I realized there’s a part of me that wants to give back. I view my adoption as a second chance at life. I feel there’s a calling for me to help others through the medical education I am receiving from Creighton University.
During the summer of my sophomore year of college, I was home alone with my stepfather. He’s almost 6 feet tall and is over 200lbs. I was upstairs in my room when I suddenly heard a loud thud. I ignored it for a second but then shouted if everything was alright as I started hearing thudding sounds on the ground. I hurriedly ran downstairs to find my step-dad having a grand mal seizure with his neck twisted against the refrigerator and cupboards. His face was blue, and fluid was coming from his mouth. I had no clue what to do and was terrified thinking that he was going to die. I quickly called 911, and once the EMTs arrived and took him to the hospital, I broke down; I managed to keep it together until I knew he was safe. That was one of the most terrifying experiences of my life, but it was at that exact moment when I realized I wanted to become a nurse to heal people.

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation NCIN scholarship has enabled me to pursue my dream as it has helped me attend my dream nursing school, Creighton University. The foundation has paired me with an amazing mentor who has inspired me, Dianne Travers-Gustafson. She is a graduate from the same accelerated nursing program that I am in, so she understands the challenges I may face. She constantly supports and encourages me along my journey. To have a mentor is an amazing gift; for that I am extremely grateful for the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation NCIN scholarship.