FOR AKEMI MARTIN, NURSING IS ABOUT FLEXIBILITY
“Growing up, I always kind of had that California dream, that maybe one day I would move to California. After I finished my master’s in biomedical sciences in New Jersey, I was, like, ‘Why not now?’ So I packed two suitcases, got a summer sublet and I moved to San Diego. I took a risk and it paid off.
I feel like if this is all that there is — this is your life and your one chance — I don’t want to get to the end of my life and be like, ‘I wish, I wish, I wish I would have done this or that.’ But my parents have always pushed me to be outgoing, and they’ve always exposed me to a lot of different things. They’ve always trusted me to make my own decisions.
I came to campus, and obviously aesthetically it was gorgeous. You see people lying on the grass, and it really looks like a movie. I went to an open house for the nursing program, and I met the former director of our program, Dr. Anita Hunter, and I was sold. I threw out my other applications and I only applied to USD. I said, ‘This is where I want to be’ — just the feeling I got being inside the School of Nursing, the faculty and the administration that I met. It was just an amazing experience, and I was like, ‘OK, that’s it. If I could move here and take that risk, then I’m going to take this risk and only apply there and if it’s meant to be, it’s meant to be.’ And I guess it was.
It’s been really great. I’ve felt an enormous amount of support, and the faculty really want you to succeed. They really want you to get out of your head. They don’t want you to worry so much about grades. They want you to focus on the entire learning process of really digging in and jumping in and feeling comfortable in the hospital. I’ve felt the support from all levels and I think that’s part of the reason why everyone comes out really successful in this program.
The number-one thing they’ve taught us is to be flexible in nursing, so we’ve learned how to bend.
I’m part of the board of the Graduate Nursing Students Association. We try to plan community service and educational workshops, but we also try to do social events. There are opportunities to have fun, which I think you need. I need to have balance. I definitely have developed a really close group of girlfriends in my class, and we go out and go dancing or go watch the sunset and get out of our ‘nursing brains’ and just remember to breathe and have a good time. I’ve definitely made some lifelong friends.
I’m really looking forward to the next chapter in my life and also to exploring the other avenues in my life that have been put on the back burner during nursing school.”
— Akemi Martin ’11,
Master’s Entry Program in Nursing