Hometown: Born and raised in Norwalk, Connecticut. Completed high school in Bridgeport, Connecticut.
Name of Undergraduate Institution: Boston College
Major(s)/Minor(s) in College: Bachelor of Science in Nursing
Name of Nursing Schools:
Winston Salem State University Class of 2017 – MSN: Family Nurse Practitioner Track.
Starting at Duke University’s School of Nursing in August 2017 for a PhD in Nursing
Favorite Quote: One of my favorite verses that reminds me of God’s love for me is Psalm 34:4-5: “I sought the Lord, and he answered me and delivered me from all my fears. Those who look to him are radiant, and their faces shall never be ashamed.”
Contact Info: TheNaturalGrad@gmail.com
I started a blog at the beginning of 2017, called The Natural Grad, to encourage women of color in higher education. Also follow the blog on IG! @TheNaturalGrad
Where are you currently at in your career path and why did you decide to pursue this career path?
I fell in love with nursing the summer before my freshman year of college after being accepted to Boston College as a Biology/Pre-Med student. After discussing the field with Carol, a nurse practitioner who worked in my high school’s teen health center, she educated and encouraged me to learn more about nursing. Much to my parent’s dismay, I happily abandoned my dreams of putting MD behind my name for the RN credentials. I have never regretted that decision. Thank you, Carol, for inspiring me. Thank you, Danielle in Admissions, for changing my major before I walked on campus. You two literally changed my life.
Fast forward to today, I’m currently right in the middle of an amazing and scary transition point in my career. I’ve finished my coursework and am just patiently waiting for my graduation from Winston Salem State University’s Family Nurse Practitioner program in May 2017. In late August of 2017, I will begin a PhD in Nursing at Duke University in Durham, NC. After working 3 and a half years as a Registered Nurse at two incredible emergency departments, Bridgeport Hospital and NYU Langone Medical Center, I decided it was time to go back to school and advance my career. I began the WSSU-Duke Bridge to the Doctorate Program in May 2015 and immersed myself in researching infertility in women of color.
If you could go back and have a chat with your naïve college freshman self, what would you tell her?
I’d say, “Girl, relax. Believe the words in the Bible you are reading. God’s got you, just submit your will to Him daily. Study harder. Pray more consistently. Don’t worry about friends; the true ones will reveal themselves. Keep hustlin’. Don’t drink the 151.”
What advice would you give to someone looking to pursue a similar path as yours?
Don’t be discouraged, and study until you have reached complete understanding. Despite a lot of individuals wanting to go into nursing to help people, many start but fail out. I had to drop Anatomy and Physiology my first semester of undergrad because I was literally failing the class. I had the strength to keep going. Many times I wanted to switch majors, but I got a strong push from family and faculty members. Hearing on-campus ministers such as Father Jack tell me, “You’d make a damn good nurse” gave me the push to move forward (the priests at BC cuss).
What is your favorite thing about your Family Nurse Practitioner program?
The flexibility you gain after obtaining the degree is awesome. Specifically with a nurse practitioner degree and credentials, I now can have my own practice, I can teach, or I can be in management. Many people ask what I want to do when I finish my PhD and it is hard to say sometimes, because my options will be further expanded. I definitely want to teach at an HBCU nursing school to inspire young women who look like me, but I also want to take my career as a Reproductive Endocrinology Nurse Researcher to higher heights as I help educate and support black and Latina women who struggle with infertility.
What advice would you give to someone getting ready to start their application process to nursing schools?
Be sure why you want to obtain that professional degree and make sure you clearly articulate that in your writing. Have someone who knows little about you read your personal statement and ask them what they feel you were trying to convey in the paper.
Did you take some time off before your Family Nurse Practitioner program? If so, what did you do during that time?
YES! I traveled and enjoyed the globe and I recommend it to every single human. Although I worked for 3 and a half years, full-time work was 36 hours/week in 12 hour increments. Both hospitals I worked for used self-schedule requests, therefore I could make it so I could get 7 or 8 days off without having to use paid time off (PTO). I traveled the U.S to visit family and friends, did a mission trip to Haiti, multiple family trips to Haiti, took a solo trip to St. Maarten, and made my first trip to Europe (Paris).
Do you have any passions outside of school? If so, what are they?
Church – I’ve been blessed with having a biblical scholar as my pastor. What people have paid for in tuition, I’m getting for free on Sundays and Tuesdays.
Working out – I’m enjoying getting stronger and learning ways to push myself. School is my thing and I’ve figured out ways to get great grades on papers. But when deadlifting, squatting or hang cleaning, I can’t do it without true focus or I’ll get hurt.
What do you like to do for fun?
Hang near the beach or bodies of water, hike, read, laugh, fellowship with wonderful people, but also Netflix and chill by myself with a glass of wine.
What do you do to get through the stressful nature of nursing school?
In no particular order, since May 2015 I’ve had to deal with a relationship break up, a death of a friend’s fiancé, a parent’s declining mental health, a sibling’s incarceration, and a huge blow to my monthly income. The cure to help me survive: prayer and counseling. Honestly, it is truly by the grace of God I’m making it through. It was hard dealing with these things but it felt even harder dealing with all that while experiencing success in school. I’m a nurse at heart and I care deeply for people and had a hard time not being able to fix things. Then I struggled with being ungrateful for what I did have. So I took my issues to God and a therapist to help me make sense of it all and I’m happy I did. I recommend everyone not fall under the false pretenses that therapists are for when you are ‘crazy’; they are there to help you through the tough times and to prepare you for the inevitable valleys of life.
Incredible! We really appreciate you being so open with us Morine! Thank you for your thoughtful and honest answers as well as for your helpful advice! Congratulations on graduating from your Family Nurse Practitioner program and an even huger congrats for successfully matriculating into the PhD program in Nursing at Duke University! We're rooting for you!
Posted on May 2nd, 2017