Doctor of Nursing Practice
“I like helping people have a voice, helping them understand and feel like they have a choice in their care.”
When Natya Stroud was in high school she got a taste of what it would be like to be a student at the University of Minnesota as a participant in Upward Bound, a program for students from lower-income families to assist them in preparing for college. Ever since then, Stroud has aspired to attend the University.
Without a stellar GPA, she said, she didn’t get accepted into the University of Minnesota. Instead, Stroud attended Minneapolis Community and Technical College where she obtained associate’s degrees in liberal arts and nursing.
The aspiration to be the first in her family to receive a bachelor’s degree remained, so she continued her education and received a bachelor’s degree in nursing from Metropolitan State University in St. Paul.
Not long after achieving that goal she was ready for a new challenge, and she knew she found her stride in higher education. After hearing about the doctor of nursing practice (DNP) program offered at the University of Minnesota, she hoped she finally found her chance to attend the University.
The program appealed to her desire to become more skilled and she liked the idea of having more autonomy taking care of patients. “I could be a better nurse and take it to the next level,” said Stroud, who lives with her husband and six children in Fridley.
During her studies, she continued to work part-time at Abbott Northwestern Hospital in Minneapolis as a labor and delivery nurse. This experience led her to pick her DNP specialty in adult and women’s health.
“Women’s rights, cultural diversity, those are the things that I’m passionate about,” said Stroud. “I like helping people have a voice, helping them understand and feel like they have a choice in their care.”
While earning her DNP, Stroud found a variety of settings to practice in, from primary care clinics to Planned Parenthood for her clinical experience to volunteering at Al-Shifa Clinic, which is located in a mosque in Fridley.
Stroud sees a future for herself working with people who are underserved and have barriers to access health care. “I wouldn’t want you to mistreat me because I am different from you. I don’t want less quality of care,” said Stroud, about why she is drawn to working with diverse populations.
She sees having her DNP as a key tool to ensure she can work with the population she wants to work with. “I can be more selective with the type of population I work with. I can seek out the patient population I want to work with and help them find their voice,” she said.