Editor’s Note: Anya Miller is a recent enrollee in a nursing program who is using the Suncoast Nursing Action Coalition’s resources to navigate nursing.
My name is Anya Miller, and I recently enrolled in the Associate of Science in Nursing program at Keiser University. I have taken a winding path to reach my decision to get a degree in Nursing. I started by completing my Bachelor of Science in Public Health at Tulane University in New Orleans, taught English in Southeast Asia, worked in medical billing for an orthopedic office in New Jersey, moved to Florida, and am finally working towards my nursing degree.
I spent the spring semester of my junior year at Tulane studying Community Health & Social Policy with the School for International Training in Durban, South Africa and living with an incredibly warm, spirited host family in a township outside of the city. My time in South Africa exposed me to varying levels of health care, public and private, and the major health disparities between different communities, which I began to realize were closely linked to education, resources, and cultural norms. I saw the critical roles nurses played in the hospitals, clinics, schools, and community health work during our trips to remote villages, major city centers, and even hospices.
Not until I started speaking to different people in various sectors of Public Health did I realize that a nursing degree would be more beneficial than an advanced degree in Public Health if I want to work in international disaster relief and an array of other aspects of health locally or around the world.
Overwhelmed with the daunting task of navigating different schools and the various nursing degree programs offered, I turned to a friend who is a nurse in Florida. She steered me towards Keiser University. I recognized quickly that the process could be tough without taking advantage of the available resources and guidance.
I recently learned of The Patterson Foundation and how they work in close collaboration with the Suncoast Nursing Action Coalition (SNAC) to address the nursing shortage, improve patient care outcomes, and ensure that all nurses practice to the full extent of their education and experience. Intrigued by SNAC’s vision, I headed to their website to learn about the coalition’s vision and purpose, scholarships that they help support, and best of all the “Nurse Navigator” resource that acts as a mentor as you begin or advance your nursing education. From my experience, these are exactly the type of resources that are so valuable; we are fortunate to have SNAC in our community.