Erin Ruppe, ‘08

Even originally from the San Francisco bay area, Erin Ruppe, MSN ‘08 “left her heart in the Northeast.” 

She left home at the age of 18 to attend college in Philadelphia and spent the majority of the last seven years in the Northeast. Although she was raised in the “laid back atmosphere of northern California,” the East Coast is the place she calls “home.” 

Erin graduated from the University of Pennsylvania in 2000 with a B.A. in Anthropology. At the completion of college she knew that she wanted to continue in school, so she moved to Washington, D.C. to enroll in a graduate program at the George Washington University School of Public Health. 

“Since I was very young, I was always interested in health care and knew that I would spend my life in this area - I just didn’t know it what capacity,” wrote Erin. 

After graduating from college, Erin worked in a laboratory at the National Institutes of Health while attending graduate school. “It was a unique dichotomy, to see the molecular world of medicine while at the same time learning about the global side of health care,” she wrote. 

It was during her graduate studies in public health that Erin realized that she wanted to become an advanced practice nurse. “I was involved in research projects within the public health school and in the community, all involving nurse researchers. I quickly realized that nurses were the ones not only on the front lines of health care delivery, but they were also the ones teaching the most interesting courses in my graduate program,” she wrote. “Every research program I have worked on has involved advanced practice nurses at some level. The adolescent health clinic I worked at in Takoma Park, MD was run by a nurse practitioner. The Hispanic clinics where I delivered my osteoporosis screen program were run by nurses. The participant recruitment director on the geriatric bruising study I was a part of was a geriatric nurse practitioner. And it doesn’t stop there.” 

Erin graduated with an MPH degree in May of 2002 and moved back to Ssouthern California to work on a geriatric research project for the University of California at Irvine. From this experience she further understood the importance of research, but believed that she needed a clinical background to better understand health care research. So, she began to examine accelerated nurse practitioner programs across the country. “After much searching I knew that YSN was the place for me based on their excellent graduate pre-entry specialty in nursing, designed for individuals just like me,” she wrote. “I knew that I wanted to be and advanced practice nurse, yet I didn’t want to have to go back to school for a number of additional years. For these reasons, Yale School of Nursing seemed like the best combination of clinical and research training.” 

Since January of 2004, Erin has worked as a project director at the Yale-Howard Partnership Center on Reducing Health Disparities at the Yale School of Nursing. “I feel lucky to have this opportunity and it further reinforces my belief in the excellence of the GEPN program here,” she wrote. “I have had the opportunity to work with the faculty and staff here at YSN that strive to make this a great place for learning. Working with the faculty and students from Howard has been the best part of the job. I see, through this partnership, that the field of nursing is growing and changing in a very positive direction.” 

Erin’s work for the past several years has focused on health disparities, and she intends to continue in this area, focusing on women’s health. While gaining clinical expertise, Erin also intends to continue to incorporate research into her clinical experience. “I imagine at some point in the future I will go on and continue graduate work towards a doctorate in nursing, while still working in the clinical environment,” she wrote. 

Eventually, Erin hopes to open a comprehensive women’s center that incorporates the latest research and clinical knowledge to deliver all-inclusive health care to women.