Nursing Student Determined to Improve Care for Minorities

Dominique Nichols, undaunted by pandemic challenges, finds inspiration in others
Nursing student Dominique Nichols

Our ongoing story starts with people from around the world, converging here at UMKC. Get to know our people and you’ll know what UMKC is all about.

Dominique Nichols

Anticipated graduation: Spring 2023

Academic program: Pre-licensure BSN

Hometown: Belton, Missouri 

Why nursing?

I want to make a difference in the way minorities are treated in the health care system. I want to be an advocate for them and provide culturally congruent care to all of my patients. My mother has been an emergency room tech.

What are the benefits of the program?

One is to be exposed to many learning opportunities through labs and clinicals, such as my current work at North Kansas City Hospital in the dialysis unit. The professors and administrative staff are also open to hearing students’ perspectives and concerns. And nurses are always in demand; I'll have a job when I graduate.

How has your program inspired you?

It has made me excited to build relationships with patients and care for those who are in need. I have also been inspired to set an example as a biracial woman in a prestigious field. This is such an important aspect of providing care to minorities.

Since entering college, what have you learned about yourself?

I have learned that I do not have to be perfect at everything. It is unrealistic, and it only causes more stress. I have been trying to focus on doing my best, even if it means cutting myself some slack for my own mental health.

What do you admire most at UMKC and why?

I admire the different types of people I see on campus (and on Zoom). There are people from many ethnicities, backgrounds and cultures. I think it is important to appreciate that we all have a multitude of things to bring to the table and everyone’s voice deserves to be heard. I love hearing other people’s experiences and perspectives on certain topics. They provide many learning opportunities and space for growth.

"I want to make a difference in the way minorities are treated in the health care system." - Dominique Nichols

Do you have any scholarships? What do they mean to you?

I am a proud KC Scholar. To me, this scholarship means everything. If it weren’t for this scholarship, I would have thousands of dollars in student loan debt like everyone else. This scholarship allows me to save money and spend it on other important things like my apartment, my car, food, gas and clothes. I will forever be grateful for the Kauffman Foundation for providing this scholarship to students like me. In the future, I plan on becoming a donor to give back and to help other students reach their goals, too.

Have you had an internship or job shadow?

I job-shadowed a nurse practitioner last fall. I learned how to communicate with patients, how to manage time, and how to document important information. I also got to observe a few surgeries on the skull and vertebrae. It was an awesome experience! I will have a formal internship during my senior year. 

What do you hope to take from your experiences at UMKC into your career?

I hope to treat all people as individuals with their own lives and backgrounds that may or may not be the same as my own. I want to be non-judgmental and open minded as much as possible. I also want to be an advocate for patients and do what is best for them.

What is one word that best describes you and why?

Determined. I am determined to be the best version of myself that I can be. I am also determined to make a difference in how minorities are treated in the health care system. It is important to me that everyone is treated with the respect and dignity they deserve.


Learn more about School of Nursing and Health Studies

Published: Jan 8, 2021

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