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Anthony T. Pho, MSN/MPH '11, BS '08, RN

Anthony Pho

Supporting the Adult Patient


When Anthony Pho, RN, was working 12- to 16-hour days managing engineers at Microsoft in California, his best friend was hospitalized. He took three days off to spend time with her, but ended up leaving the hospital with a new career path, thanks to his friend's nurse.
Pho remembers watching this nurse write her name on the whiteboard, and then tell his friend that she would be with her for the next 12 hours. This struck him: here was a person who spent her work days helping others. "I just didn't see myself being fulfilled in high-tech anymore."

Despite his hectic job, Pho went to school four nights a week to complete his prerequisites, and then applied to several nursing schools. But for him, the only choice was Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing.

"Hopkins was the only program that had the message for a career-changer that you're not locked into a program of study," he says. "You have to go into clinicals and touch patients and talk to them to help formulate your career path."

So in 2007, Pho packed his bags, and left the Bay Area to drive cross-country through the Southern states. A year later, after receiving his Accelerated Bachelor's degree, he started the MSN-MPH Adult Primary Care Nurse Practitioner Program, a course of study that is offered jointly by the School of Nursing and the Bloomberg School of Public Health.

In his second year at the school, Pho began working in the Johns Hopkins Hospital Emergency Department. Here, he noticed that people who live in extreme poverty in Baltimore, many of whom are older adults, come to the ER for primary care issues because they lack insurance. This experience solidified his interest in public health.

Thus, after graduation, Pho hopes to work with the older adult population, a group that is expanding by 10,000 people every day, according to current demographic estimates. "The reality is that we don't have enough clinicians to serve these people. This is a public health crisis."

He is already getting experience working with older adults, both through research projects and clinical rotations, such as the ElderPlus Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly at Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center.

And that, he says, is one of the greatest benefits of the Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing.

"There are more opportunities than you can possibly ever take advantage of," he says. "You should always choose the program that introduces the greatest number of experiences and also the greatest number of options and flexibility. Hopkins is that program."

Learn more about the Adult Primary Care Nurse Practitioner program