Veronica De La Torres

Veronica De La Torres
2010-2011 Awardee

I am currently taking courses to complete my bachelor’s degree in nursing. I have finished all my prerequisites for the nursing program at El Centro College and have applied there with a very high score on my HESI and high marks on my requirements and support classes. To explain my future goals, you need some background information about me.

I have always wanted to be a nurse, but I started a family early. I have always enjoyed caring for people. I have always had a knack for assisting friends and recovering from illnesses. I had been patiently waiting for both of my children to be in college to start my dream of nursing when my father was in Colorado during the summer of 2008.

A man had been released early from a local mental hospital still complaining that he had delusions. Being diagnosed with schizophrenic, he left the hospital without any medication. For the man to receive medication, he had to make the contact.

He moved in next door to my father. He had been without his medication for two weeks when he sliced my dad's throat and left him to die. Directly after the funeral, I enrolled in college for the first time and started taking a psychology class.

I wanted to know how my father’s murderer was supposed to function in society without close supervision. I wanted answers as to why he was released by a nurse practitioner when he was still hallucinating. My goals are clear for me to become a nurse.

I will finish my associates in nursing degree at El Centro and become a nurse. I will start working at a hospital in the psychiatric ward. While I am working at the hospital, I will enroll at the University of Texas at Arlington and receive my bachelor’s degree in nursing.

I will then enroll in their Nurse Practitioner program. Once I have completed this program and become a nurse practitioner, I will prescribe medication to patients with mental illness. Under my care, no patients released without certainty that they are not a threat to themselves and other human beings.

I will physically make sure that every patient that I discharge will have medication to take with them. They will already be set up with an outpatient state mental health facility before they leave the hospital. I will devote my life to make sure no patient is every discharged who is not ready for society, and to ensure that they receive adequate care for their disease. After a year or two of working with patients, I will apply for my Ph.D. in nursing. Later on in life, I would like to write a book about the proper way of dealing with mentally ill patients.