DNP Student Profile: Veronica Roye

Veronica Roye, RN, Balances a Rich Academic, Professional, and Personal Life

Everyone feels overwhelmed at some point. Figure out why you’re pursuing an NP degree and don’t stop. When you look back, you’ll realize how far you’ve come. 

Veronica Roye, RN


Q: Why did you choose Columbia University School of Nursing?

A: I knew the school prepared nurse practitioners (NPs) exceptionally well, because all the NPs I work with at Columbia University Irving Medical Center hepatology office received their advanced practice degrees there.


Q: Why did you choose the DNP program?

A: I’ve always been in awe of how knowledgeable and independent NPs are. They can diagnose, prescribe, and coordinate care. They see patients on their own and can provide what patients need without having to ask a medical provider for direction. I want to be able to know as much as they do.


Q: What is it like to manage work and school at the same time?

A: It’s very difficult juggling work three days a week, class two days a week, and parenting a 13-year-old son. I do a lot of pre-planning. Sunday is church and meal preparation day, when I prepare three to four meals for the week. Saturdays are study days. I’m usually in the library for hours. Before an exam, I’ll even forgo church—which I don’t like to do—and meal prep to spend extra hours studying. At work, I laser-focus on catching up on the days I’m not there. Luckily, my job does not entail bedside care, and I can do much of my work from home, like reviewing lab reports, coordinating care, and ordering imaging. Every day I review course work for every class, even on the bus.


Q: How academically rigorous is your program?

A: It’s extremely rigorous but I feel well-prepared. The hardest piece for me is the three-semester diagnosis and management course, which is the meat and potatoes of being an NP. Sometimes I feel overwhelmed, usually at the beginning of the year, when professors give you everything you’re going to do for the entire semester. But after a few classes I hit my stride and realize that I can manage the workload, which is all part of the amazing education I’m getting.


Q: What is your relationship like with your professors and mentors?

A: Professors’ expectations are high but they provide everything you need to excel, and are always available to help. Many of them obtained their DNP while parenting and working, so they’re extremely understanding. Plus, the teaching assistants are very helpful in offering study tips.


Q: Are you involved in any extracurricular activities?

A: I serve as a peer mentor and vice president of Columbia Black Student Nurses. As vice-president, I preside at organization meetings that the president cannot attend, perform all legal duties that the president assigns and assume the role of president if the office becomes vacant. Columbia Black Student Nurses is a great example of our school’s commitment to diversity and inclusion. Being vice president has given me the opportunity to connect with other student nurses of color and to share experiences, triumphs, and struggles, to mentor, and be a mentee. Despite the group’s name, we advocate for inclusion and welcome people from all nationalities to engage, socialize, and network with us.


Q: Where do you hope this education will take you?

A: I haven’t quite figured out my next steps. I would like to teach and I’m especially interested in solid organ transplant and perhaps cardiology.


Q: How has globalization affected you academically or professionally?

A: As I become more engaged professionally, I’m realizing that language barriers impede quality of care. I’m taking medical Spanish because I want what’s best for my patients.