CON Spotlight - Julie Nielsen
Oct 20, 2020 10:00 AM
Nielsen is following in her grandmother’s footsteps to serve others.
From a young age, Nielsen knew she wanted to become a nurse and care for both local and global communities. “I have always been concerned with the health and wellbeing of others,” says Nielsen. During adolescence, she viewed an impactful PSA about underserved children, inspiring her to dedicate her life to service. “I knew I would work to serve others to the best of my abilities,” states Nielsen. “I decided to do this through nursing.”
It was not only her calling for care that led Nielsen to the field of nursing, but her desire to follow in her grandmother’s footsteps. Nielsen’s grandmother graduated from the University of Utah’s nursing program in the 1930s, before the College of Nursing (CON) had been established as its own institution. “She was an amazing mother, grandmother, and nurse,” relays Nielsen, “and I decided to follow in her footsteps.”
Nielsen wants to help those who cannot help themselves.
Nielsen loves the field of nursing because she has a passion for helping others, as well as a penchant for education. “Nursing epitomizes science, medicine, scholarship, critical thinking, patient care, and compassion,” says Nielsen. “I wanted a career that focused on such meaningful values, and to live a life of service.” As a true caretaker, her favorite part of nursing is the patients. Nielsen is grateful that nursing provides her with “the opportunity to help those who cannot help themselves.”
Nielsen is a nurse of many interests.
“I am in the Family Primary Care Doctor of Nursing Practice Specialty Track, because I want to work with patients across their lifespan,” explains Nielsen. She understands that health is a lifelong journey, and desires to care for her patients every step of the way.
However, Nielsen not only wants to focus on primary care, but is also interested in nursing education and global health. She is working toward a Nursing Education Certificate because she wants her “love of nursing to be shared in the classroom with the next generation of nurses.” She is also aiming for a Global Health Certificate. “I intend to serve global public health needs,” says Nielsen, “which are so dire at this time.”
The University of Utah CON is the best choice for Nielsen.
“I decided the University of Utah CON had the best doctoral program in Nursing and would be the best fit for me as I desire to spend the rest of my life giving back to others through medicine, evidence-based practice, scholarship, teaching, education, and exceptional patient care,” says Nielsen.
Nielsen chose the University of Utah CON because “it is known for its excellence and rigorous expectations of its students.” As the CON is Utah’s flagship nursing institution, she knew that attending the college would provide her with a high-quality education and the skills needed to excel in the field. “I wanted the best,” says Nielsen. “The University of Utah CON is the best.”
Overcoming hardship and balancing responsibilities.
“I have overcome unbelievable odds to be and stay in my doctoral studies,” says Nielsen. “At times, it has seemed as if everything has conspired against me to successfully complete my dreams.” Nielson has overcome a handful of negative situations during the course of her education and personal life, but she hasn’t let them compromise her goals.
Nielson’s husband left her during the first semester of her DNP program, causing her financial, emotional, and physical strain. “I have struggled financially for every dime to stay in the program,” states Nielson. “I am also the mother of three daughters, and have had to balance many of their needs and struggles simultaneously.” She was also the victim of an act of violence, adding to her turmoil.
Balancing career goals, educational aspirations, and family life has been no easy feat for Nielson, but she has remained unwavered and is on track to receive her Doctor of Nursing Practice Degree in the spring of 2021.
Nielsen believes that nursing students will change the world for the better.
Nielsen wants current and prospective nursing students to know that the field of nursing is loaded with opportunity. “Nursing is such a rewarding and remarkable life-long career,” says Nielson. “There are so many options you can do in the nursing field.” She also instructs students to never give up on their goals and pursuits. “When you decide you will go for it, don't let anything stand in your way,” she says. “Be unstoppable in your dreams, because the world will be better for our knowledge and compassion for caring for them.”