Zoe Padua Andrada

November 2010


I believe this about nursing…  “The positive characteristics we strive to possess can be developed by being of service to others.”

My first Bachelor’s degree enabled me to study theater and music. Although seemingly very different from nursing, my experiences in the arts have prepared me well for the nursing profession. In both fields, complete commitment must be given to the work at hand and being present means always being prepared to give of the self and the soul in an intellectual, physical, or emotional capacity. Because making personal connections is so essential in the arts as well as in providing care for patients in a hospital setting, my previous experiences in the arts have helped me interact with people during some of their most vulnerable times in their lives.

The ways in which I communicate and relate to others have been shaped greatly by my encounters through my travels, most notably in Mexico, India, and the Philippines. As a dual citizen of both the United States and the Philippines, I enjoy learning about different perspectives, philosophies and values that may be shaped by culture and tradition. My travels have also exposed me to the iniquities throughout the world’s nations, usually apparent in the healthcare of the people. I am now more aware that I, too, can learn about, appreciate, and show respect for others by being of service to them as the skills of nurses can be used universally to help others live well, live fully, and live happily.
In addition to my travels, I also witnessed a variety of health issues firsthand in my own family with my mother’s battle with breast cancer and my father’s receipt of a pacemaker. I often think about how grateful my family was when we were helped by healthcare professionals who happened to be in the airport when my father was weak and unable to board the airplane. We were in a foreign country receiving the help of our fellow-passengers who were willing to help us, and it was then that I realized and came to truly appreciate the importance and value of the skills that healthcare professionals possess. Additionally, it is that kindness for strangers shared with us that I hope to one day share with others especially in times of emergency situations.

I became more interested in the prospect of becoming a nurse when I realized that the positive characteristics I want to possess could be developed by being of service to others. I continually redefine success but my personal mission remains: to make a valuable contribution to my community. I now focus on what skills I would like to learn in order to do as many positive things I can for the greatest number of people possible. The versatility of the Registered Nurse license fulfills this mission and will enable me to serve all age groups in a clinical capacity while maintaining the options of integrating research, education, or policy into a practice that serves universal needs. I deeply appreciate the support that the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation has given me to see my goals to fruition.