Columbia Nursing student Janine Inez

MDE-DNP Student Profile: Janine Inez

Janine Inez Wants to Help Someone Every Day

November 11, 2019

Columbia's MDE program will challenge you to achieve record-levels of academic and professional excellence. With faith and perseverance, you can. 

Janine Inez


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

A: I earned my undergraduate degree in screenwriting from the University of Southern California but wanted a career that would make me feel like I was impacting someone in a positive way every day. Most of the nursing schools I researched offered bachelor’s degree programs, but Columbia Nursing's Masters Direct Entry (MDE) program allows me to get my master’s degree in 15 months, and leads directly into a doctoral program without having to apply again to school. And, as soon as I graduate I can sit for the licensing exam to become an RN. Also, the MDE program offers a lot of clinical hours starting from day one, which was a big draw. I had concerns about transitioning from a different field, and I wanted to be able to get hands-on experience working with patients right away. Columbia Nursing facilitates that.


Q: Why did you choose the DNP program in psychiatric mental health?

A: I’ve always been passionate about psychiatric-mental health, working with people with various mental health diagnoses like depression, anxiety and personality disorders, while also being able to prescribe medication. I chose the DNP program because of its unique focus on psychotherapy in combination with medication management. The director of the psychiatric-mental health DNP, Dr. Kelly, likes to say we are “therapists first” and this is a philosophy I truly believe in.


Q: Do you receive financial aid?

A: Yes, I’m a full-time student and have no time to work. As a student who is taking out loans, it can sometimes feel extraordinarily overwhelming to think about all the money I will owe. The financial aid I receive from Columbia as a reward for my hard work pushes me to succeed even further and offers some relief from that feeling.


Q: How academically rigorous is your program?

A: The MDE program is extremely rigorous and I believe it should be. I try to maintain a steady pace and keep up by studying every night for at least an hour and a half. Studying for me usually includes organizing and reviewing that day’s notes as well as working on upcoming assignments. Columbia University has a high expectation of excellence, which consistently challenges me to study hard, apply what I learn, and reach out for help when needed.


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

A: If a student takes the initiative, professors are always willing to make themselves available and provide academic support. I have also offered professor’s feedback and they were very receptive. I do feel lucky to have a wonderfully dedicated peer mentor who always wants to help. As soon as school started he messaged the people in our mentee group and answered questions about day-to-day experiences in the program. I am also a part of a study group that we established in the beginning of the Summer semester, and they have played an integral role in my success so far.


Q: Are you involved in any extracurricular activities?

A: I’m part of the student advisory council, which consists of ten students who meet bi-weekly with upper administration to convey students’ concerns and requests. Outside of school, I like to do yoga, meditate regularly, and play board and video games with my friends. I also continue to foster my talent in creative writing when I am afforded the opportunity and am currently working on a novel.


Q: How has globalization affected you academically or professionally?

A: Globalization already affects me on a personal level. My mother and father emigrated here from Jamaica, and I would not have the life I have if they had not built careers in nursing and sanitation, respectively. They afforded me the opportunities that I have today. I know globalization will also affect me professionally as I begin to work with an incredibly diverse patient population in New York City. Columbia has a global health program that gives us the chance to see what other countries are doing to improve population health. I believe that learning about different cultural approaches to treatment is one way of bridging the gaps that we will face as providers in mental health care.


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

A: My dream is to be a psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner who incorporates narrative medicine and mindfulness-based therapy techniques to treat a variety of mental-health diagnoses. Eventually, I’d like to open my own private practice. Some underserved populations I am particularly interested in working with include women of color, LGBTQ youth, and veterans.