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IUBAT Graduate Overcomes Barriers for Dream Career


One of our alumni, Firoza, recently wrote to us to describe how her lifelong dream of being a nurse came to fruition.  Firoza has wanted a career in nursing from a very young age, and she recalls her journey to get to IUBAT.  

She writes, “Even from early childhood, I wanted to be independent.  A female neighbour, who was a primary school teacher, helped me believe that this was an achievable goal for me.  Also, as a fourth grade student, I read a storybook about a nurse that piqued my interest in the field.  My first attempt to get into nursing college was not successful, but I did not lose hope, I still believed that I would be an RN one day.  I completed a three-year paramedic course and got a job as a ward clerk at Sajida Hospital in South Dhaka.  While working at the hospital, my dream of being a nurse became stronger, but I knew that my family could not afford to pay the tuition through nursing school.  During my time at the hospital, I met Bimala Rai, a graduate of IUBAT and the chief nurse, who encouraged me to complete a BSN at IUBAT with bursary support from Bangladesh Health Project donations.  It was then that I was introduced to Dr. Karen Lund.  Both of them helped me gain bursary support in order to enroll in IUBAT’s BSN program.

I cannot explain how much happy I was when I got chance to enroll in the BSN course at IUBAT.  IUBAT is an English medium-university and students are taught by local faculty and international visiting volunteers.  Students from other departments informed me that IUBAT’s college of nursing followed a strict method of instruction, and in order to pass the program, one would have to dedicate a lot of hard work into their studies.  I was not deterred because I know that a journey of thousand miles starts with a single step.  English doesn’t come naturally for me, as I have only ever spoken Bangla, but I studied hard and I passed the program with a high score.  I was able to achieve this with lots of help from local and foreign faculty, and of course, Dr. Karen Lund.  I could not speak a single English word when I was first admitted to IUBAT, now I can speak English in front of thousand people.  I am very thankful to Dr. Karen Lund and other faculty members who always supported and encouraged me to study in nursing and helped me become competent enough to work in any corner in the world.

Now, since January 2nd, 2016, I have worked at Sajida Hospital, Narayanganj, as a Nursing Supervisor (Quality Improvement).  In this position, I have many responsibilities, such as performing professional supervisory practice in the care of physically ill people, and ensuring quality nursing care offered at the hospital facility.  I am working to improve and maintain the quality of nursing practice, using standard precautions.  I am currently organizing a training program to improve knowledge, identifying and assisting in resolving professional, administrative and supervisory problems in assigned areas. This is a more challenging job for me, but I like this work and the challenge of bringing positive change in nursing care.”

Thank you for this story, Firoza, and congratulations on your new supervisory position.  That is a remarkable achievement!  We hope that your career as a nurse is filled with many more successes, and perhaps one day, you may mentor someone contemplating nursing and help a young nurse-hopeful towards the program.

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