Nursing student and former accountant takes her critical thinking skills to “higher level” in care of patients

Jennifer E. Engen

Yuki Fujita, MPH, channeled inspiration from the long line of health care professionals in her family while studying to be a nurse practitioner at UMass Chan Medical School. Her grandfather is a seventh-generation physician, her uncle is a physician and her cousin is a nurse.

Fujita will graduate on June 5 from the Tan Chingfen Graduate School of Nursing with a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree in the Family Nurse Practitioner track. After earning a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Boston University, Fujita worked as an accountant at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. She quickly realized she wanted to be involved in health care in a different way, so she earned a Master of Public Health degree from Boston University.

The Cambridge native became interested in the nurse practitioner field after completing a summer internship at Boston Children’s Hospital, where she worked with nurse researchers and nurse practitioners on a quality improvement project in the cardiovascular department. This led to her interest in UMass Chan’s Graduate Entry Pathway program, where she said she felt at home.

“I really benefited from the faculty and staff finding clinical placements for us,” she said. “We were in our clinical year during the pandemic, and not many places were taking on students during that time, but they worked very hard to secure a clinical placement for every student and we all had meaningful experiences overall.”

Fujita has formed supportive relationships with faculty and classmates.

“The friends that I made in this program are some of my closest friends. We’ve been through a lot of challenging times, like being new nurses during the start of the COVID-19 pandemic,” Fujita said.

She and her research partner, fellow DNP student Irina Rojas, worked on a project focusing on perinatal depression in women experiencing high-risk pregnancies at UMass Memorial Medical Center. Fujita has worked as a bedside nurse at UMass Memorial and recently transitioned to nurse practitioner, a role she will continue after she graduates from UMass Chan.

“It was a privilege to be able to take care of patients during one of the vulnerable times in their lives. I wanted to become a nurse practitioner because I wanted to utilize my critical thinking skills on a higher level and keep taking care of patients in that way,” she said.

Related UMass Chan news stories:
GSN welcomes 30 Graduate Entry Pathway students into nursing
GSN student Irina Rojas inspired to pursue nursing career after surviving Hurricane Katrina

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