Staff Nurse - NYP Weill Cornell Hospital
College of Staten Island, City University of New York – Class of 2015
Why I chose nursing?
Nursing was never a profession I envisioned myself to be a part off. I did not choose nursing. Nursing chose me. As a child I was diagnosed with an illness that led me to spend a considerable amount of time in the hospital. I went through four major surgeries, after each surgery I was left completely helpless. I depended on the nurses to help me perform even the simplest of tasks. The nurses who cared for me during this difficult time drew my admiration and influenced me to pursue a career in nursing. However my journey to pursuing this career was not as clear-cut as it sounds.
I come from a Pakistani family and being the eldest son, I was expected to pursue a career, which would make my parents proud, and nursing was certainly not one of them. My parents wanted me to become a doctor, lawyer, engineer, accountant etc. So when I got to college I decided to major in biology and follow a pre med track. While completing my general requirements for college, I always thought about the impact nurses had made in my life and I wanted to have the same impact on others. Hesitantly, I applied for the nursing program at my school and was accepted. Initially my parents were not happy with my decision, and I totally understood why. The societal attitude towards nursing in Pakistan is correlated to poor socioeconomics, a feminist profession and a profession that lacks respect. Some of which holds true in the minds of many here in the United States. I was able to change my parents’ perspective on nursing and gained their support by educating them about the role of nursing as I learned more about it myself as a nursing student.
How do I see myself in the nursing profession in the next five years?
As a new nurse entering the profession I am primarily focused on developing my skills at the bedside and transitioning into a critical care unit. I am also interested in becoming a preceptor and mentoring other young professionals like myself after gaining some experience. In regards to advance practice and higher education I am unsure about what the future holds for me. As of now, I am exploring and learning about the various opportunities available in advancing my career. Although I am undecided about my future in nursing, one thing I am certain about is that I would like to stay in an area that involves providing direct patient care.
Vision of the NYC MIN
Being a part of NYC MIN group has been one of the most amazing experiences for me. Each meeting I learn something new, meet new members, and leave knowing I chose the right profession. As a new nurse I am able to seek advice and learn through the experiences of seasoned nurses. The accomplishments of NYC MIN chapter are evident with its continued growth and success. My vision for this chapter includes changing the image of nursing, specifically to recruit more men into the nursing field. With so many active members we can definitely make an impact and have a positive influence in our communities. If it weren’t for my hospitalization, I would have never truly understood the role of nurses. Even then I was only exposed to the aspect of bedside nursing, which although is integral part of this profession but certainly does not represent all the different roles nurses undertake. NYC MIN is composed of nurses from every level of the spectrum, including but not limited to nursing students, staff nurses, nurse educators, nurse practitioners and nurse executives. The collective collaboration amongst us all will enable us to raise awareness about the vital roles nurses play in healthcare, thus diversifying the image of nursing and making nursing a more appealing career choice to men. There is no doubt that the number of men in the nursing field is increasing. The NYC MIN group can help serve as a catalyst to this development.
What do you see as the legacy of male nurses in the nursing profession?
The growing number of male nurses will improve the nursing profession in many aspects. The legacy of male nurses is to diversify the nursing force, thus being able to better serve our diverse patient population. In addition this increase will help to defy misconceptions and break stereotypes regarding men in nursing. It will shed light upon issues male nurses encounter as a minority in the field of nursing. Men are changing the dynamics of the nursing culture. Ultimately one day male nurses will change the way nursing is perceived by society.
I believe there are a handful of authentically inspirational careers and nursing is unquestionably one of them. Nurses contribute an invaluable and unique service to society, and ever since my days as a patient, I had aspired to be part of this unique group. Today, I am proud to call myself a Registered Nurse. I have recently started my career in the Neuroscience Step-down Unit at New York Presbyterian Weill Cornell Medical Center. Amazing things keeps happening!