Student Spotlight: Randulf Erguiza

California resident Randulf Erguiza (G ‘14), age 38, is currently completing his final semester in the Family Nurse Practitioner Program. In our latest student spotlight, he discusses his goals to improve health care by acting as an advocate for his patients and for the nursing profession.

In what program are you enrolled? Part time or full time?

I am enrolled in the Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) Program as a part-time student. My program commenced on October 31, 2011, and the program is expected to end on January 18, 2014. I began my seventh and last term in September 2013.

Tell us about your background.

I have been a California permanent resident since December 2010. I migrated to the United States through my parents’ green card petition. I originally hail from the Philippines, where I finished my education.

What year did you attain your BSN?

I earned and completed my BSN, my second degree, on March 2007 at J.P. Sioson Colleges and General Hospital, Inc. in Manila, Philippines. With hard work, focus, and unwavering faith, I passed the Nursing Licensure Examination on June 2007 and placed 22nd among 70,000 examinees in the country. I graduated at the top of the graduating class, magna cum laude, and was nominated as one of the Ten Outstanding Students of the Philippines (TOSP) in 2007. I finished my first Bachelor of Science degree at the premier university of my country, the University of the Philippines.

Why did you decide to pursue a master’s degree?

The decision to pursue a master’s degree in nursing was a product of my long-term goal of touching more lives in this lifetime. Having an advanced practice degree in nursing will further equip me with indispensable knowledge and competent skills. Furthermore, a master’s degree in nursing will enhance deeper understanding of health situations from microscopic and macroscopic perspectives.

Why did you want to pursue this particular specialty?

The Family Nurse Practitioner specialty gives me the opportunity to work with all types of family structures, encompassing the entire age spectrum. In doing so, it will mold me to be more cognizant of family dynamics affecting individuals, groups, or systems.

What advice would you give to someone who is just starting in this career path?

Every nurse who aspires to be in an advanced practice nursing role has to be steadfast in his or her career goal. There will definitely be trying times while pursuing this career path. What matters most is the end goal of providing an optimal quality of life for each patient. Be mindful of the accompanying tasks and responsibilities that go with being an advanced practice nurse.

What has your experience been with the Learning Management System (2GU)?

The Learning Management System (2GU) platform is indeed a technological innovation that allows students who are geographically distant from each other to come together and earn the best education from Georgetown University. The university lives up to its world-premier reputation of quality education by incorporating 2GU in its distance education.

The 2GU platform is a perfect learning medium for graduate students who want to get the best education, but are constrained by issues of distance and travel time. This learning platform is pioneering distance education without compromising Georgetown University’s educational standards.

What is one skill you believe every nurse should possess, no matter what stage in his or her career?

The most essential component of being a nurse is recognizing one’s inner core values. Each patient encounter will definitely test your ability to positively affect people’s lives. As we provide holistic care to individuals, families, and communities, every nurse has to maintain unquestionable integrity and dignity. This will translate to impeccable service and provide a model agent of change.

Do you currently work part or full time?

I used to work as a forensic psychiatric nurse full time (five days a week) for the first five terms of the FNP program. However, given the rigorous coursework of Georgetown University’s program, I had to forego my clinical work and focus on the last two terms of my program.

In what states have you practiced?

I have practiced as an RN in California and in Manila, Philippines.

In what departments have you worked?

For six productive and fruitful years in nursing, I was able to work as a forensic psychiatric nurse and an operating room nurse. Complementing my clinical background was my experience as a nurse lecturer in psychiatric nursing, medical-surgical nursing, nursing research, and nursing leadership and management. I was able to inspire, motivate, and give licensure exam reviews to aspiring RNs.

How long have you been in nursing?

I have been in nursing for six years.

What are some ways you’ve been working to create a healthy work-school-life balance?

Starting this rigorous FNP Program at Georgetown University School of Nursing & Health Studies, while working full-time, was indeed a seemingly formidable task. What I learned from the six terms I have finished is correctly setting priorities. There were definitely sacrifices made while focusing on the end goal of being an NP. Know the little things that make you happy, and incorporate these activities into your free time. Most importantly, do not underestimate the physiologic and neurologic benefits of sleeping. However, all these things I find useless without communing with God, who is the source of everything.

Do you have an example you can share of a time when you were able to apply something you learned in class to your current job?

There are a lot of things I incorporated from school in my workplace. First, my documentation was very thorough and specific, whether it warranted a focused or comprehensive assessment. This was noticed at the workplace. I believe each nurse needs to implement this to provide efficient continuity of care. The FNP Program also provided me with the clinical experience to improve physiologic and psychiatric evaluations, in terms of differential diagnoses and laboratory analyses.

Anything else you’d like to share?

Health care is dynamic. There are things bigger than a single patient encounter. However, a nurse needs to understand that greatness never starts on a large scale, but is dictated by how well we touch each patient’s life. As each day passes, we can capture the bigger picture of our health care system and realize that we can do something in furthering better health delivery. Our voice is as important as our passion for patients. Advocate for our profession. Advocate for our patients. Amplify our patients’ voices to make the health system better. I always hold this mantra by Edward Hale: “I am only one, but I am one. I cannot do everything, but I can do something.  And I will not let what I cannot do interfere with what I can do.”