Daniel Parnell Aims to Take People from their Worst Day to their Best
Where is UMKC taking you?
Career-wise, UMKC is taking me to a degree in nursing. My long-term goal is to graduate with a BSN then to go on to UMKC’s nurse practitioner program to be a family nurse practitioner. But more than that, I think that UMKC has really invested a lot in me as a person through extracurricular activities and events. In the long run, it’s going to take me so much further than a degree alone.
How did you decide to be a nurse practitioner?
I never knew what I wanted to do in high school. When I was a junior, I stumbled upon nursing. Someone suggested it. I looked into it and fell in love with the idea of it. As I began to shadow and get involved with healthcare, I did research online. Nurse practitioners are becoming a big resource in healthcare. There’s a really high demand for them right now. But I also love the path of that career. Someone said to me, why not just do the doctor route? I don’t think that’s my passion. I love the idea of nursing. There’s something so special about caring for people at their bedside.
Why did you choose UMKC?
I chose UMKC for a few different reasons. My sister-in-law is an alumna and she did the nursing program here. She planted the idea of nursing in my mind. As I traveled to Kansas City more, I fell in love with this city. I grew up in a small town in southern Missouri but I’ve always been a city boy. I looked at UMKC and learned that their nursing program is phenomenal and that their student body is diverse. I am involved in the LGBT campus services and UMKC is one of the best places in the nation for that. It just seemed like a multifaceted fit.
What are your life-long goals?
Working in critical care would be amazing and to imagine myself working in a position where you help people, where you see people go from their worst day to their best day, and to get paid for that. That seems like the jackpot to me.
Personally, just to live the stereotypical American life. I want to settle down. I want to find a house in Kansas City and have a family. I would like to travel too. I have also toyed with the idea of doing some sort of healthcare traveling, but we’ll see. Getting involved with the community has become a passion of mine.
What motto do you live by?
I’m very success driven. I think that my definition of success is something that drives me. I don’t define success as a measurable outcome of what you do. Success is more of what you put into something. I go into a day and say, who am I supposed to be? What is my purpose? Have I given 100 percent? As long as I put myself into it, and I was who I was supposed to be that day, then I was successful.
What excites you?
Probably what excites me the most is whenever I do something that I feel is successful and it affects someone else. That’s just thrilling to me. I love to discover new things, travel to new places, meet new people. I love to hear people’s stories. It amazes me how unique each individual is.
I am very passionate about investing in the LGBTQI community. There are lots of health disparities in that community and there is lots of room for improvement and I want to invest in it.
Do you belong to any organizations?
I’m a member of the student nurses association. I am on the board of the Pride Alliance. I am the publicity officer and I have been elected president for next semester.
How has college inspired you?
College has inspired me in a number of ways, but above all else, it has taught me that I am truly the master of my own destiny. At UMKC, it is kind of like there are a thousand hands reaching out to help, and you all have to do is say yes, commit and grab on to whichever you desire. Before this time in my life, I never had a real sense of individualism. I now feel competent to genuinely chase after what I want out of life.
What’s the best piece of advice you have ever received from a professor?
I would have to say that the best advice a professor has given me would be to “go for it.” One of my professors once told me that time flies so quickly and to use it wisely. If you want to something, do it. Don’t hesitate; just go for it—I think this is such a simple concept yet one I overlook all too often.
What do you admire most at UMKC?
I think that I admire the diversity most at UMKC. It is so refreshing to be in a place where all walks of life are welcome. One can not only find others with common threads, but also intermix with those of other backgrounds as the campus fosters an excellent sense of openness amongst all.
What’s your greatest fear?
My greatest fear is to get caught up in where I am going and forget where I’m from. Looking toward the future and progressively developing is necessary to reach my potential, but it is so important to me that I remember who I am, where I came from and every single person who influenced me along the way.
What is one word that best describes you and why?
Determined. I have passion for everything that I pour myself into. I feel that there is a purpose for all that I am and all that I do. I am so determined to fulfill the potential of the life that I have been given, and I will do whatever it takes to do so.