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CSUSB nursing student eyes career as nurse practitioner

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Esso Omuson, who will graduate in June with a bachelor’s of science degree in nursing, thought back to when she was accepted into the Cal State San Bernardino nursing program as a freshman.

“There was a moment of doubt and fear for me, between taking my prerequisites and then applying,” said Omuson. “That definitely was like a great victory and it definitely shaped how everything else panned out here.”

That determination, along with encouragement by her family and CSUSB faculty, including associate professor Claudia Davis, led Omuson to apply to the Elma Vines Summer Health Academy internship program last summer. The four-week academy provides African-American undergraduate students educational opportunities in a variety of health care disciplines and seeks to promote the development of the participants’ public presentation skills.

Each intern spends one week with each health care professional mentor, with four days dedicated to experiencing the day to day rigors of the practicing health care professional. On Friday of each week all interns come together to talk about the week’s activities, receive instruction from a health care professional and do a presentation based on their experiences of that week.

Omuson said the program groomed the students in such a way that they were able to see improvement in their speaking and presenting skills.

“Coming into the program, public speaking was something I was fearful of doing, but I am glad that I challenged myself to do so,” she said.

 At the end of the program the interns can participate in a contest in which they do a presentation covering the most compelling experience of their internship.

“My first thought getting into the internship was that I wasn’t going to win. I didn’t think I was capable. I didn’t think that I could do it,” Omuson said. “As I kept on going on, I was going to try to improve and that’s the one thing that surprised me, I actually did.”

“After shadowing a cardiothoracic surgeon, I decided to do my final presentation on bacterial pneumonia and this was my winning presentation,” Omuson said. “I had no idea that I would end up winning this award out of seven other competitors. It was truly an experience that I will never forget.”

Davis said she was not surprised by Omuson’s success, calling her “a great student with a terrific future ahead of her.”

With graduation ahead of her, Omuson’s next step is going on to graduate school and then ultimately becoming a nurse practitioner though at time she still can’t believe how far she has come since her first year at CSUSB.

“What surprised me the most is how far I’ve come from how I started off as a freshman and how I’ve grown and how my goals have been shifted or changed and my thought process,” Omuson said. “Those are things surprised me about Cal State San Bernardino. Those are things I didn’t expect to happen.”

View the video feature on Omuson at “CSUSB Student Profile: Esso Omuson.”

TAGS:College of Natural Science, nursing, internship, Coyote Spotlight, Esso Omunson, career

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