Skip to main content Skip to footer site map

Alissa White '12

Photo of Alissa WhiteMental Health Nurse

Major: Nursing

I care not only about the work I do, but also the people I help. The mental health field is an important area for nurses to gain experience in because public health issues can affect everyone.

As a nursing student, I participated in the Moreau Center’s border, rural, and urban immersions. They pushed me to look beyond my student bubble by exposing me to a lot of issues that are directly connected to healthcare. In fact, it was those immersions that inspired me to travel to Honduras after I graduated to serve as a nurse for Nuestros Pequeños Hermanos, an organization that works with orphaned, abandoned, and disadvantaged children in Latin America and the Caribbean.

After serving in Honduras for nearly two years, I moved to Seattle and began working as a mental health nurse at the Downtown Emergency Service Center. Soon, I will start a new job with King County Public Health’s Plus Program where I will work with homeless families. These roles fit in with my passion for working with vulnerable populations outside of a hospital setting and they fulfill my desire to learn as much as I can about public health issues.

Looking back, the School of Nursing did a great job in helping prepare me for this line of work. Of course, we learned the science and the clinical skills, but we also learned to look at the person as a whole. As a UP graduate, I can think critically while also being compassionate—and that’s been an invaluable gift.