Student Spotlight: Shaju Francis

Nov. 1, 2018

Second-year Doctorate of Nursing Practice (DNP) student with Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist specialty, from Ernakulum, Kerala State, India.

Why did you decide to pursue a career in nursing?

When I moved to the US in 2010, I set a career goal to become a doctoral prepared CRNA by 2020 and nursing was a stepping stone towards that goal.

What drew you to the UA College of Nursing?

The UA DNP Anesthesia program is unique with its hybrid nature of academia and is the best fit for my life stage and ambition. The testimony by one of my friends and a senior student in the program was motivating and reassuring.

Why did you choose to pursue anesthesia in particular?

Patience, hypervigilance, and compulsive attention to detail are some of my personal attributes that I cherish and are essential for an anesthesia provider. I understand that it is quite challenging and demanding program and profession, however, as a believer of servant leadership, I take it as a call to service.

What features of your program/specialty are you especially passionate about?

Being from Arizona, it is a dream doctoral program that offers most of the clinical rotations in AZ, and I was fortunate to be one of the 11 students for the Class of 2020. Very experienced faculty, flexibility with the combination of in-class and online didactic, and the state-of-art simulation labs are the highlights.

Share your favorite memory from your time at the CON

When I was a child, I was scared of dead people and couldn’t sleep for a couple of days if I happened to see a dead body or attend a funeral. My first six weeks of learning at the CON involved cadavers in the Tucson anatomy lab, which included dissecting every muscle, organ, vessel, and nerve! The scare has been replaced with respect and a salute to those souls for the whole body donation.

What are your goals/plans for the future?

After the successful completion of the program, I would like to practice in Arizona. Advocating for this profession to bridge the shortage of anesthesia providers coupled with international health mission work is my dream. For example, India’s population (1.35 billion) is more than four times that of the United States. However, with the absence of CRNAs, the anesthesia providers in India are less than half the providers in the USA!

Do you hold any other degrees?

 I have an MBA from Symbiosis, Pune, India.