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First-year nursing student aims to amplify diversity on road to becoming nurse practitioner

By Kaylee Puliese

UMass Chan Medical School Communications

January 04, 2022

Jeannece Batista’s path to an advanced practice nursing career includes stops at Worcester State University for a degree in Spanish and a home health care agency where she served as a patient intake coordinator and case manager. Now she’s a Graduate Entry Pathway student in the Tan Chingfen Graduate School of Nursing, where she is earning her registered nurse license and will go on to earn her Doctor of Nursing Practice.

“I like to call myself a perpetual student,” she said. “I like a little bit of everything. Nursing is perfect for that. It has the avenues for anywhere you want to go.”

Batista immediately felt at home in the Tan Graduate School of Nursing, so much so that this self-described introvert joined three campus organizations her first semester. One of those groups is the student-run Nurses for Equity & Justice Coalition, which focuses on equity and diversity among students.

“The three words I would use to describe UMass Chan are community, diversity and challenging, but challenging in a good way because you want someone to challenge you in life,” she said.

As a Worcester native, Batista was familiar with UMass Chan. Exposure to health care from her mother’s work as a medical assistant also ignited her interest.

“I remember her going to medical assistant school when I was very little,” Batista said. “I remember a lot of medical books when I was growing up, and I feel like that probably sparked my interest.”

At the Tan Graduate School of Nursing, she is a part of the Graduate School of Nursing Organization, which involves conversations around student affairs. She is also involved in the Interprofessional Trainee Quality Council where she learns about quality control in spaces such as hospitals. These extracurriculars have given her a chance to immerse herself into the school community.

“I did not think coming to UMass Chan meant I was going to make so many friends or that I was going to make so many connections with so many different people, even faculty,” she said.

Working in a setting with diverse colleagues is a priority for her.

“I’ve had the most growth opportunities here,” she said. “I am working with a bunch of diverse faculty and students and that’s probably one of my favorite parts. I have never run into a hurdle where I felt like I couldn’t speak to a professor, and I’m grateful for that.”

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

Related stories on UMassMed News:
Mother of two and former educator leads quality improvement project while pursuing Doctor of Nursing Practice degree
‘My heart is in community health’ says Graduate School of Nursing student Helen Tsiagras