Alumna’s Advice for Entering the Nursing Field

Anna Maria (Dykzeul) House ‘06 is a graduate of Hawaii Pacific University. For the last six years, she has been working as an acute care nurse, and recently completed a Master of Science degree in Nursing at the University of South Florida. Her dad, John Dykzeul ‘72, and brothers Theodore ‘04 and Christopher ‘08 are all Moreau alumni. We recently caught up with her to hear about her journey to becoming an advanced nurse practitioner.

When did you know that you wanted to become a nurse?

There was a career day at Moreau my junior year and we got to choose all of the professions that we wanted to listen to. I had initially wanted to go into criminal justice to be a CSI (crime scene investigator) since I loved anatomy, physiology, and things like that. My aunt is actually a pediatric oncology nurse and from listening to her stories, I knew I wanted to care for people but I didn’t want to work with children. So, there was a nurse that I listened to on career day and she talked about how she was able to serve her patients and make a difference. I thought that was exactly what I wanted to do – not only does it involve anatomy and physiology, but I’m also helping people. So, I knew right away that it was going to be my major and what I wanted to do.

You earned your Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing from Hawaii Pacific University. How did you end up choosing that school?

When I went to visit the campus in Hawaii, the first thing that I recognized was that it was very culturally diverse. It’s like a huge international melting pot, especially on the island of Oahu, which is where I moved to. I really thought that cultural diversity would bring a lot to my education, and I knew that I wanted to study nursing and nurses have to be culturally competent to better serve our patients.

What made you want to continue your education beyond your undergraduate degree?

I think Moreau had a lot to do with it. I think the lesson that was instilled consistently at Moreau was to push harder and never settle. So, I was working as a nurse for five years and remembered that my teachers in college always recommended working for a couple of years before going to graduate school – that way you can really understand the career that you’re in. So, I really did test the waters. By looking at the bigger picture, which I think Moreau always instilled in us, I was always reminding myself to not look so narrowly and to keep in mind everything that was out there – and that’s when I realized that I wanted to become a nurse practitioner. I already felt like I was telling the doctors what to order and what was needed for our patients and I wanted to be the provider so I went to graduate school.

What advice would you have for any current Moreau students who want to go into nursing?

It’s hard! I would say that they need to understand that it is not a walk in the park. My words of advice to anyone who wants to get into nursing is that you have to understand that you are going to have to work hard. There’s going to be a lot of tears, and a lot of moments of frustration or doubt when you will think that you can’t do it. But, I really think that’s where Moreau comes in, because Moreau is not easy; those classes are meant to be challenging in order to prepare you for college. But, if you continue to strive, know what your goal is and work hard, then you will succeed.