PhD candidate, expected graduation in August 2017; from South Africa
Why did you decide to pursue a nursing degree?
I was born and raised in rural South Africa, where health care services are either unavailable or inaccessible. When I was 12 years old I saw my mother lovingly take care of my late grandmother using traditional medicines from a medicine man. Without help or guidance, she did the best she could. After graduating from high school, I went to the local hospital and knocked at the door of “The Matron,” which is what they call the Chief Nursing Officer, and told her I wanted to be a nurse because I wanted to be able to better take care of my mother if she gets sick and build a clinic at my local village for all the villagers to get health care.
What drew you to the UA College of Nursing?
When I started at the University of Arizona College of Nursing it was for convenience. I was a full-time employee and a single mother raising my teenage son and had just moved to the United States. I was still struggling with understanding American culture, so it was a very challenging time. The College’s mission and values gave me comfort and motivation, especially its values of balance and social responsibility.
What features of your program are you especially passionate about?
My research topic was self-care behaviors of rural women post-invasive coronary interventions. Rural women and cardiovascular disease are my passion. Working with rural health expert, Dr. Sally Reel , and cardiovascular health expert, Dr. Anne Rosenfeld, was all I could ever ask for. To top it off, I had the opportunity to start my rural cardiovascular health career by working with rural populations during my dissertation.
Share your favorite memory from your time at the CON.
Attending RISE [Residential Intensive Summer Experience, an on-campus intensive for PhD and DNP students] was my favorite time in the whole program and I was very sad when I couldn’t attend anymore. To meet with my cohort, my professors and the IT people was always very exciting.
How do you intend to Build Better Futures?
For me, nursing is the center and the pillar of health care provision. Through research and teaching, I will make an impact on the nursing practice and nursing profession. Building a better nursing future is not only for nurses, but also for the populations receiving the nursing care. Heart disease is a number one killer worldwide, but most people do not know that. Empowering the new nursing generation to disseminate the knowledge they acquired to the populations they serve is the key to disease management, including lower mortality and morbidity rates. The one-size-fits-all approach to health care is not practical and rural populations’ perceptions of health are different from urban populations’ perceptions of health. New health innovations must be disseminated using methods that are suitable for specific populations and communities.