Kara O'Brien

UConn School of Nursing

I am a registered nurse originally from East Lyme, CT, and a proud graduate of The Catholic University of America’s School of Nursing in Washington, DC. While an undergraduate, I was introduced to the inspirational work of Dr. Paul Farmer, a physician and medical anthropologist. His writings are an unabating reminder of the importance of social justice, especially in regards to health care. Since graduating, I have spent close to five years working in various hospital systems, including Hartford Hospital, CT, INOVA Fairfax Hospital, VA, and William W. Backus Hospital, Norwich, CT, with clinical foci in cardiac and medical/surgical intensive care. These professional experiences helped stimulate in me the drive to further my education and pursue a Master’s degree in Nursing with a focus on adult primary care at UConn. My aspiration to work with underserved populations is being realized through UConn’s Urban Service Track (UST) program. Through UST, I was privileged to participate in a summer internship at the Institute for Community Research and the Migrant Farm Worker Clinics. My clinical rotations for practicum are at two Charter Oak Medical Center clinic locations, one of which is inside a homeless shelter. Both are well-utilized by medically under- and uninsured people with a myriad of physical, medical, psychosocial and emotional needs. As a consequence of my UST participation, my interest in working with the underserved, and my previous internship experience, Ialso have been asked to assist on a newly-approved HIV-focused research project through UConn’s School of Nursing, which I accepted without hesitation. In addition to and congruent with becoming an adept practitioner, I intend to continue my education for a post-graduate Doctor of Nursing Practice, and possibly a PhD, in order to better advocate for the needs, rights and benefits of underserved populations.

Kara O'Brien, RN
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