Alexandra Charles, BSN Student
“I have seen first-hand what bad health care can do to a population. When you have seen your family members, who are suffering from diabetes, hypertension, and other chronic conditions slowly deteriorate because they can’t afford to go the doctor or pay for expensive medicines, you understand how important the health care system really is. When people must choose whether to eat or pay for their medication, you understand that many health care systems are defective.”
Equity in health care is important to Alexandra Charles. So, when it came time for Alexandra to choose a project as part of the Christine E. Lynn College of Nursing Honors in the Major program, a preeminent program that pairs honors students with faculty mentors to conduct original research, she chose to work with Dr. Rhonda Goodman as her faculty mentor on a project focused on the cultural influences in diabetic minorities, more specifically Mayan Guatemalans.
Alexandra is also a member of the Student Nursing Association (SNA). “When I heard Dr. Goodman talk about her trips to Guatemala, where she provides underprivileged people an opportunity to receive health care and screenings, I knew I must be part of SNA.”
When Alexandra is not doing schoolwork or work on her thesis project, she works at Bethesda West Hospital as a nurse intern. “It is my first step to becoming a nurse. I learn techniques, information and caring science at school then I can apply my new knowledge at my job. It has been very helpful to see patient diagnosis, procedures and care first-hand.“
Alexandra also helps her mother with her daycare business. “My mother is from Haiti; she came over to this country, and she has built her own business. She has instilled in me a strong work ethic and an appreciation for a good education. My mother works with a diverse population of children who come from low social economic households. It is her way of giving back to the community. She is one of the reasons I decided to be a nurse. Seeing the poverty and broken health care systems made me want to be a nurse.”
Alexandra said once she graduates, she plans on applying to the BSN- DNP program. “I would love to be accepted into the College’s DNP program because its values align with my own.” Alexandra said that she would like to be a nurse practitioner so she could go out in the community and help low socioeconomic patients. “I hope one day I will be able to go Haiti and other communities to help rebuild and start from scratch what is needed. Health care is not just about medicine, it is also about prevention and education. I want to help as many people as I can.”