Today, we had the pleasure of conversing with a boundary breaking Nurse. It was an inspiring session and here are the details of how it went down.
Interviewer: Can you kindly introduce yourself?
Grace: My Name is Grace Agboola. I am a Registered Nurse, author, writer and blogger. I had my Basic Nursing Education at the School of Nursing, Bowen University Teaching Hospital and have been practicing for three years.
Interviewer: Now let’s talk about your interesting journey in to Nursing
Grace: In 2012, I was a bright eyed teenager with great expectations of nursing, eager to learn and impact my society however along the line I kept noticing loops that needed to be filled. I saw that nursing was highly misunderstood, poorly portrayed and rarely spoken for.
As a writer, I naturally kept a personal diary of my experiences and the thoughts they provoked and I always sought to link my writing skill with nursing; I wrote a short story titled EUREK-HER, a love story that also provided enlightenment on Sickle Cell Anemia.
Nursing for me was a field I was passionate about, but then I saw things that were not pleasing; Nursing became monotonous and I earnestly wanted the profession to be well understood by the public.
Interviewer: Interesting. What was (were) your toughest moment(s) in Nursing?
Grace: Toughest moment; I got tired of nursing just after practicing for three years but I knew it was not a matter of interest because I love the profession. It became a routine I wanted to break out of. The monotony of shifting and irrelevance of the off days.
Interviewer: That’s really good. Next question is: What do you currently do “differently” as a nurse and what inspires you to do it?
Grace: The turning point in my career came when I noticed the writings in my diary about nursing kept increasing. This inspired me to write more and the book NOOSI; DIARY OF A NIGERIAN NURSE was birthed. The book is an exposé to the side of the job people never see, the aim was to reduce the level at which people misunderstood the profession.
I also run weekly posts and podcast on my social media pages on selected topics in Nursing basically addressing common issues.
There were lots of facts about the profession that needed to be straightened, experiences that needed to be shared, thoughts that needed to be voiced and emotions that needed to be vented.
Interviewer: That’s cool. Next question is; What’s the turning point in your career?
Grace: I already talked about the turning point lightly but furthermore…giving Nursing and Nurses a voice did it for me. Being able to finally connect my writing skill with my profession.
‘NOOSI‘ is the common Yoruba way patients address Nurses, the book is to connect the public to nursing on a level not seen before.
Writing the book is a turning point for me because I also got to share the stories of patients that touched me in ways beyond my job. For years I kept a collection of writing and poems and I finally got to share all of it in the book.
Nurses are at the Frontline of mental health talks but most often we experience things in our job that often leaves a print on our mental health e.g a traumatic death of a patient, our secret thoughts and musing on if we did our jobs the way we should and a lot more. The book was basically a way for me to let off the steam and share the emotions I felt other nurses experience too.
Interviewer; Next question, What boundaries did you break to become the extraordinary Nurse with different?
Grace: I believe I have left my mark on the writing community as a Nurse. NOOSI ; DIARY OF A NIGERIAN NURSE is a rare book. Yes, there are articles and posts and blogs that document the same thing but a whole book I believe is boundary breaking.
Writing the book was not a big challenge because it was more like gathering my personal writings together but I did have to work on it intensely, sometimes late into the night after a stressful shift. The weekly blog posts I make on my social media pages are also gaining grounds as the public’s interest is often spiked and people are eager to share their views and learn more about the profession.
Interviewer: Outside Nursing, who is (are) your role model(s)?
Grace: Outside Nursing, I am inspired by great writers and musicians like Amanda cook, Misty Edwards, amongst many others.
Interviewer: What is your greatest ambition in life?
Grace: It will be quite difficult to point out my greatest ambition as I call myself ‘the girl of many dreams.’ I am a Nurse, Writer, I sing, I’m learning to play the guitar, I make and sell branded T-shirts that I call SCRIPTtees, so my ambition will be to be perfect in all these. I also wish to gain higher studies in Clinical Psychology and it’s application in Nursing.
Interviewer: A parting shot to inspire African Nurses aspiring to break boundaries.
Grace: To the Young African Nurse I will say; Nursing is a profession that is often misunderstood and the sad thing is that some Nurses also do not realize the great potential in them. Nursing is at the Frontline of Healthcare delivery and the success of Nursing is the success of the input of every other healthcare professional. The system needs you to be successful.
Young African Nurses should begin to do more.
Yes, Nursing can be time consuming! But when you find something you are passionate about, you’ll find exploring other fields an easy task. There were days I wrote after a stressful shift. So, know who you are and be grounded in your selected path, improve your skills by learning more, take on leadership positions, develop your talent.
Raising the profile of nursing is the duty of every Nurse and the good news is that it can be done easily without stress by personal discovery and improvement till Nurses become a great voice in the society and at leadership levels.
Interviewer: Powerful words! One sentence to describe the idea of “The African Nurse” project.
Grace: The African Nurse project is one of the most innovative interventions that nursing history will always remember.
Interviewer: Thanks very much Grace! It’s awesome having you as a guest on the African Nurse Teleseminar Platform. How can participants get hold of your books please.
Grace: To purchase the book: NOOSI; DIARY OF A NIGERIAN NURSE.
Send the sum of #500 naira only and $2 for people at Diaspora.
Name: Grace Agboola
Bank: Guarantee Trust Bank
And send a screenshot of transaction via WhatsApp to: 07081854143
Or contact me via Social Media:
- Facebook: Grace Agboola
- Twitter: GraceAgboola_
- Instagram: g.r.a.c.e.a.s.h.e.r
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
I hope you learnt one or two things and above all were inspired to that that big step you have been brooding upon.
There are boundaries to be broken, books to be written, lives to be touched and impact to be made. Now is the time to take that step.