Finding Her Way
In fall 2022, Selin Park (B.S. ’20) will begin a master’s program at Yale to pursue an R.N. (registered nurse) to family nurse practitioner degree, and she couldn’t be more excited. “When I graduate from the program as a nurse practitioner, my options are endless,” she says. “I can choose whichever specialty that my heart calls. It is perfect for someone like me who is always exploring different things.”
While she is confident in her choice to pursue her master’s degree as a nurse practitoner now, the path has not been clear from the beginning. “I have always been interested in healthcare, but I did not want to be a doctor or a nurse,” she remembers. “At that time, I did not know about mid-level practitioners such as physician assistants or nurse practitioners. So, what options did I have? I chose a six-year doctor of pharmacy program, which I ended up quitting after the first year since it was such a bad match for me.” It wasn’t until she transferred to New York Tech to finish her bachelor’s that she found her true calling.
When working as a medical assistant in a dermatology office, she “fell in love with every aspect of taking care of patients. I felt like I was born to do this job.” Initially a biology major, Park was counseled by her new peers at New York Tech to look into interdisciplinary studies, which immediately seemed like the right fit. “New York Tech made the process of switching my focus very easy. Advisors sat down with me and thoroughly walked me through the plan, and it was the best decision I ever made,” she says. “The credits I brought with me were not all applicable towards a biology major, but when applied to interdisciplinary studies, I was actually able to graduate half a year early.”
At New York Tech, Park also found a friendly, supportive environment that was more conducive to her learning style. “Previously, I went to a large state school with more than 40,000 undergraduate students alone, and it was just too hectic for me,” she says. “Professors-to-student interaction was a lot easier at New York Tech. A smaller school setting helped me focus and I always had access to my professors, allowing all of my immediate questions or concerns to be addressed in a timely manner.”
One of the things she finds most appealing about her chosen profession is how empowered she will be to help people. “Not many people know what a nurse practitioner is, and I have seen patients turn their service away so they can be seen by the ‘doctor’ instead. But nurse practitioners are able to diagnose, prescribe, and treat in many specialties, the same way a doctor would.”
Now that she is confidently pursuing her dream career, Park has a lot to look forward to. “I’m most excited about meeting new people once I become a nurse practitioner. I love hearing stories and meeting different people. It inspires me in every way.”