At the end of senior year in high school, I visited a college tour in Puerto Rico to find out about colleges and universities that specialized in my area of interest. During the tour, I met an academic advisor for the NOVA Southeastern University and sat down with her to talk about my future endeavors. She informed me about the College of Pharmacy of NSU, what they provided, the curriculum, the students and the experiential education.
The College of Pharmacy excels because of its programs committed to developing students professionally, its interactive technology to provide the same first-rate education as in the other sites, for providing quality introductory pharmacy practice experiences in community and hospital settings, and its commitment to their students’ professional goals despite difficult circumstances. After everything I learned both through the academic advisor and research of the university, I decided to apply to the NSU College of Pharmacy to achieve my aspirations of becoming a pharmacist.
The NSU College of Pharmacy offers a variety of programs that allow students to become leaders in their professional field. One of the programs that caught my attention was The Dean’s Ambassador Program. I am interested in this program because it provides opportunities for students to represent the college to alumni, preceptors, university, professional communities, and the general public.
The program also offers training and mentoring in leadership, networking, presentation, and teamwork, as well as the business protocol to better prepare students. This program will not only allow me the opportunity to reach out to other students, the way the academic advisor reached out to me back when I was in high school but grow as a pharmacy professional, in every sense of what this career will require of me.
During a tour of the Puerto Rico Regional campus, one of the biggest surprises I had was the way NSU handles distance education programming. This is an era that is driven, controlled, and managed by technology, and NSU has understood and adapted to an always evolving future that is changing how patients are cared for. All students have access to the Health Professions Division library, and the classrooms are equipped with the latest technology. The students giving us the tour emphasized that the way they learned was highly beneficial.
Regardless of the location for the College of Pharmacy, the different campuses, especially Florida and Puerto Rico, have lectures through video conferencing between sites simultaneously, which allows for live interaction between faculty members and students. I admire this approach because the students are taught similarly which prepares them with the knowledge and skills necessary to be successful and competent pharmacists, not one location above the rest.
Recently, I volunteered in an obstetrics and gynecology clinic, The Dorado Wellness Medical Institute. During this time, I shadowed Dr. Ruiz Vale who is one of the doctors that offers the official introductory pharmacy practice experience for the NOVA students of the Puerto Rico Regional Campus. The Pharm. D. students that were completing their IPPE there were helpful, kind, knowledgeable and ready to answer questions I had about the NSU College of Pharmacy and the Doctor’s prescriptions or procedures.
They informed me about the IPPEs and what it helped them achieve. For them, this practice experience facilitated real-life application of the material learned in the classroom, and the importance of effective communication between pharmacists, patients, and other health care providers. After the participation with Dr. Ruiz Vale and the Pharm. D. students, the IPPEs that NOVA provides and the knowledge I gain will help me develop competencies and enhance my understanding of patient care management.
Living through Hurricane Maria, the worst natural disaster in the history of Puerto Rico, was challenging. The hurricane left behind great economic and human loss. It affected the homes of thousands of people and left immense wreckage in its path. Overcoming the impact of this type of catastrophe in a positive way was a task that required time and effort. However, the NOVA Southeastern University worked hard to reestablish a sense of normalcy as soon as possible.
They kept up with their students and staff’s whereabouts and in union with the students in Florida, collected basic necessary supplies to help. The Puerto Rico Regional Campus diligently labored to provide the education the students required. All the students were even offered the option to travel to Fort Lauderdale before the storm and take classes there.
Nobody could have prepared for what was ahead after a natural disaster such as Hurricane Maria, nevertheless, the NSU College of Pharmacy excelled when the odds were against them. Stability and assurance that my professional goals will not halt regardless of emergency situations, is why I want NOVA to be the school to provide me with the education needed to accomplish the Doctor of Pharmacy Degree.
Choosing the right university to finish my degree is a crucial step and The College of Pharmacy of the NOVA Southeastern University is the place where I know I will excel as a pharmacy practitioner. It will teach me about the knowledge, materials, technology, and skills necessary to fulfill my desire of becoming a competent pharmacist in a dynamic, diverse and evolving health care environment. The reasons why I want to attend the NSU COP is because it offers programs committed to developing students professionally, uses interactive technology to provide the same excellent education as in the other sites, provides quality introductory pharmacy practice experiences in community and hospital settings, and are committed to their students’ professional goals despite difficult circumstances. The academic advisor pointed me in the right direction and peers have confirmed how good this university is. If I am chosen, I will proudly call myself a shark.