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DNP student answers call to nursing; plays important role in Vaccine Corps rollout

Nurse Emily Everett is in her second year of UMass Medical School’s DNP Program

By Colleen Locke

UMass Medical School Communications

July 19, 2021

Growing up in Buffalo, New York, Emily Everett, BSN, RN, knew that she wanted to work in health care. She decided to focus on nursing when, as a biochemistry major at the University of Buffalo, she volunteered as a research assistant in a pediatric emergency department.

“I saw that the nurse was the one at the bedside, advocating for the patients while collaborating with the medical team,” Everett said.

The day after Everett earned her Bachelor of Science in biochemistry, she began UB’s Accelerated Baccalaureate Degree in Nursing Program. She completed the program, earning her Bachelor of Science in nursing, and then moved to Massachusetts to work as a nurse, first for Genesis HealthCare and now at Beth Israel Lahey Health.

She applied to the Graduate School of Nursing's Doctor of Nursing Practice Program and the Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner Track so she could become a nurse practitioner in a hospital emergency room or intensive care unit. Everett expects to earn her master’s degree in nursing in August 2022 and her DNP in 2023.

“As a nurse who is working full-time and getting an education full-time, I am able to use what I learn in school on the fly while I’m working,” Everett said. “I chose UMass Medical School because of the community outreach. It’s integrated into the curriculum, specifically through the community service learning project.”

Everett’s community service was important to the rollout of the UMass Medical School Vaccine Corps. In January, Everett and 12 other GSN students trained more than 150 School of Medicine students on how to give intramuscular injections, something that’s not part of the traditional medical school curriculum. By the end of the spring, nearly 500 medical students from UMass Medical School and Boston University were able to administer COVID-19 shots to area residents. Everett and the other trainers received the GSN Interprofessional Community Service Award for this work.

“It’s been very rewarding to me because we’re able to reach out to the community and vaccinate people who may be underserved, as well as really make a difference in this hectic pandemic,” Everett said.

As a GSN student, Everett has had the opportunity to work with third-year medical students on how to have difficult conversations with patients on topics such as military life, women’s health, trauma and intimate partner violence.

“As a nurse and a graduate nursing student, I am able to work interprofessionally,” Everett said. “Something I like to share with everyone I work with—whether you’re a nursing assistant or a doctor, your goal is the same. And that’s to help patients get better and go home and be comfortable. And so working with medical students at UMass Medical School, I’m able to do that and teach them my mantra as well.”

Wherever her career takes her, Everett wants to continue to work with both patients and students.

“I want to be able to teach the next nurse, the next nurse practitioner,” Everett said.

The Student Spotlight series features students in the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, Graduate School of Nursing and School of Medicine. For more information about UMass Medical School and how to apply, visit the Prospective Students page.

Related stories on UMassMed News:
GSN Class of 2021 celebrates milestones achieved in a remarkable year
UMass Medical School launches Vaccine Corps, backed by philanthropy, to support statewide vaccine rollout
Were building a vaccine corps of medical and nursing students – it could transform efforts to vaccinate underserved areas
UMass Medical School students ready to serve on COVID-19 vaccination front lines
UMass Medical School students to administer COVID-19 vaccinations for Worcester area