MDE/DNP Student Profile: Kelsey Baffour-Addo
Masters Direct Entry / Doctor of Nursing Practice Program ’22
I am passionate about health education and equity. I think investing in our health and well-being is one of the most important things we can do.
Please tell us a bit about yourself; where are you from, and what do you like to do in your spare time?
I am from Long Island, N.Y. I grew up dancing and I was always involved in performing arts activities. I still love it! I also enjoy taking care of my physical and mental health through fitness, time with my loved ones, and practicing gratitude.
Why did you decide to pursue nursing, and why did you choose Columbia?
I have a background in public health, but I always knew I wanted a clinical foundation as well. I decided on nursing because similar to public health, there are various ways to work toward the common goal of improving health outcomes, including research and policy. I also found that there is a great deal of overlap in the core values of public health and nursing. I chose Columbia because I recognized the dedication to prepare students for both the current and emerging roles that nurses will have in health care. Columbia was also the only school that provided the seamless transition into the DNP program.
What are you passionate about, and how has being a student at Columbia Nursing allowed you to follow that passion?
I am passionate about health education and equity. I think investing in our health and well-being is one of the most important things we can do. However, a lack of information and resources are often common barriers. Columbia always highlights patient education and a patient-centered model of care. We learn to empower our patients and communities with education while prioritizing their unique physical, mental, and socioeconomic needs.
Do you have a favorite memory of your time at Columbia Nursing?
Some of my favorite memories are the moments I shared with the friends I have made here. As demanding as the program can be, it’s such a wonderful feeling when everyone can check another milestone off the list together and celebrate it! I also enjoyed speaking to incoming MDE students as a student ambassador. It made me realize how far I have come!
How has the pandemic affected your experience as a nursing student, and your feelings about being a nurse?
Entering the program during the pandemic was intimidating. There was constant uncertainty about COVID-19, the new journey ahead, and how the structure of the program would be affected. I learned more about what being on the front line really means and the flexibility that is required of nurses. I also learned about the importance of self-care, self-advocacy, and mental health as a health care professional.
What are your next steps after graduation?
After graduation, I plan on staying very close since I will be entering the DNP-FNP program. I also hope to gain experience as a nurse and to give back to the MDE program in any way I can.
Is there anything else you’d like to add?
I would like to add how appreciative I am of the Pathways to Leadership and Advancement in Nursing (PLAN) program. As a minority at the school of nursing, it really made a difference to have a space to connect with other minority students. It gave me a deeper sense of belonging. Thank you to everyone who made PLAN happen!