2011 UCLA Graduate Scholarship Recipient
University of California Los Angeles | School of Nursing
My name is Alison Wagoner and I am currently a graduate student in the UCLA School of Nursing and will be graduating with my MSN in June. I obtained my Bachelor of Arts in Bio-Psychology from Boston College in 2009. I chose to enter the field of nursing not because it would provide me with a good job or even career, but because I felt it was my calling. I felt called to do something meaningful with my life; to be able to utilize my background in science while simultaneously making a difference in someone’s life. For me, the essence of nursing is human caring, and what a privilege it is to care and advocate for patient during their worst times, and celebrate with them during their best times. Nursing is where my talents and my deepest passions intersect, and I feel blessed to have learned this within the UCLA community.
My areas of interest include critical care nursing in the adult and geriatric population. I love the challenge of highly acute patients and appreciate the significant role I can play in empowering patients and families during critical moments. For the past two years I’ve had the pleasure of serving the graduate students in the School of Nursing. From 2009-2010 I served as the Graduate Students in Nursing Association (GSNA) class representative, serving as a liaison between the Masters Entry in Clinical Nursing (MECN) students and GSNA as well as the Advanced Practice Nursing (APN) students. In the spring of 2010 I organized and executed a volleyball fundraiser tournament that raised over $3,000 to sponsor nursing students in Haiti. As the 2010-2011 Co-President, my goal was to “connect the dots”, bringing the multiple facets of graduate nursing programs together to share experiences, networks and support. During my Co-presidency, GSNA raised over $1,200 to send care packages to UCLA-SON alumni serving as ER/trauma nurses in Afghanistan. I also recently organized a 5K run/walk supporting a SON professor’s new charity, the Wound REACH Foundation, which supports wound-care specialists to work and educate nurses abroad in resource-poor countries.
My other interests involve global health efforts, and most recently I served as a co-leader and co-founder of an independent student initiative at UCLA. The project supported ten graduate nursing students to travel to Uganda where they worked at various clinics, hosted an HIV/AIDS seminar, and educated villages on healthy living and sanitation. In my free time, I volunteer at the UCLA Mobile Clinic in West Hollywood. I am inspired by the Nurse Practitioners I have worked with at various homeless clinics and in the hospital and hope to earn an Advance Practice degree in the future.
After graduating from the MECN program this June I hope to spend the next 4-5 years as a bedside RN in an adult/geriatric ICU; hard-wiring my skills, expanding my clinical knowledge and learning my role as an RN. Eventually, I hope to earn an advanced practice degree as an Adult Nurse Practitioner where I can continue to practice the art and science of nursing with increased autonomy while still being part of a health care team.