Amira Amatullah was the first in her family to go to college.
The Qualities of a Successful Nursing Career
Not without sweat and tears.
In 2018 Amira graduated from the DNP Program and today she is already leading in her new position as Regional Nurse Administrator at Rutgers!
Amira grew up in an area where she saw lawyers, doctors, and lots of teachers. She only saw nurses when she visited the doctor or a hospital. However, after graduating from college, she took a job in Public Health at the New Jersey Department of Health and was in charge of coordinating a tuberculosis (TB) clinic for immigrants.
"At that time there was a greater influx of immigrants from Haiti to New Jersey, and the two nurses that were working in the clinic were the ones that changed my trajectory. I watched them work with people that did not look like them, that did not speak their language, but they were so kind and compassionate and importantly knowledgeable and skillful. I realized this is what I wanted and needed to do with my life."
Amira is unstoppable. Once she knew what she wanted to do, she obtained her diploma in nursing and worked for what she found most interesting in the field, female medicine and pediatrics. She felt the need to travel and experience more of the world while working so she applied to work in the Middle East and ended up staying for over 20 years.
I had the opportunity to travel and meet people from all over the world. I realized that my nursing skills could be applied globally as I had acquired the skills and abilities that were in demand internationally. I traveled and had a marvelous time. I made lifelong friends from every part of the world.
When it was time to come back to the US, Amira knew she wanted to continue with her professional growth.
"I needed to complete my education and that lead me to apply for my terminal degree in nursing, the DNP, which I wanted in order to sharpen my nursing administration knowledge."
Although her career has taken many detours, Amira’s clarity helped her to just keep moving forward.
It can be overwhelming. A large majority of people don’t realize the academic rigor of nursing and the immense amount of work involved and it can be stressful from time to time.
When Amira was looking for a DNP program she came across a LinkedIn profile from a USF Nurse who was working overseas and once again, she discovered “this is exactly what I want to do.”
Amira was a Nurse Executive and USF’s DNP program was tailored for CNOs. As she evaluated the curriculum, she saw that the step-wise approach and design if the program would support her after graduation with all the skills and tools needed for an executive nurse leadership position which would help her lead to make a difference.
I traveled between the Middle East and SF to attend the program intensives. It was very challenging.
Having to do group work and depend on each other, helped Amira to get out of her silo and become part of a group that needed her contributions.
You get to know what each one can do and learned how to complement one another’s skills.
This group work helped Amira to solidify in some ways the commitment to caring for others and learned to rely on the team.
It brought a different approach to thinking about teamwork.
Amira needed a job while completing her DNP, so took an entry-level management position. As soon as she graduated she applied for a leadership position and was selected!
"When asked why I applied for the position, my reply was, I am an accomplished executive and I had just completed my DNP. During the interview, we started talking about USF and they were really impressed. The atmosphere in the room changed. I do not know how to qualify that, but it was as if they had a different respect for you. They even said, USF is a very reputable institution and if you had that degree from them, then you are someone we want to be a part of what we are doing."
The interview was on a Friday and that Monday, Amira was offered a job.
I couldn’t believe it because I had the masters since the beginning when I first went to them but now 9 months later that I had my DNP there was no longer an issue. Just like that, they took me.
"My approach to this new role, is to start with my staff development and get buy-in to our shared vision for the organization. Once I get staff on board and they share the vision, we will move toward implementation of our sustainability and exit planning. Working with children in out-of-home placements, in foster care or in the process of adoption or moving towards independent living to support their health care needs. They have a lot of healthcare concerns that go unaddressed and we are going to be that bridge for them."
For Amira, this is the beginning. She wants to find a platform and start talking to younger people, minorities, in particular, to get them excited about nursing.
We need that influx, we need the younger, the millennials, and even younger than that to be thinking about nursing as a career.
We want to wish Amira lots of success and thank her for sharing with us her story.