College of Graduate Nursing student Angelica Millan earned a scholarship from the National Hispanic Health Foundation that recognizes her commitment to community service and mentorship.

She was one of 10 Western region students to receive a scholarship from the foundation.

Millan is completing her first semester as a Doctor of Nursing Practice student, marking a return to academia after more than 20 years in nursing. She is the nursing director for the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health Children’s Medical Services.

She earned a master’s degree in nursing from Cal State Los Angeles, and was inspired to return to school by the Institute of Medicine report that urged nurses to continue their education. Implementation of the Affordable Care Act is bringing significant change to health care, she said.

“We need be more prepared,” Millan said. “That’s what inspired me to go back.”

Millan has served as a mentor for many years through the National Association of Hispanic Nurses.

“I think service is important,” she said. “We need to give back to the community. We need to be mentors in the community.

“We have a lot of youth seeking out which direction to go, especially in this difficult economy,” she added. “Nursing is one of the best career choices I ever made. It allowed me to have different career choices. I’m a nursing director, but you can be a professor, a staff nurse, a dialysis nurse. I think there’s something for everybody.”

Millan said she is especially motivated to inspire Hispanic youth to enter the profession. Some may think that health care is difficult because it requires knowledge of anatomy, physiology and other complex subjects, so they are intimidated about entering a health care field. “I think they need to see more role models, to show them they can do it,” Millan said.

Returning to the classroom has been challenging but enjoyable, Millan said.

“I was very apprehensive about doing scholarly writing and getting back into reading literature reviews,” she said. “I wasn’t sure what to expect. I really have enjoyed it. It really feels like I’m being challenged. I think it’s an excellent program.”

Click here for more information about the National Hispanic Health Professional Student Scholarship Program: http://nhmafoundation.org/index.php/scholarship-program