CHANGING FACE of NURSING - School of Nursing - University of ...

CHANGING FACE of NURSING - School of Nursing - University of ...

changing face

seyoum adem:

Caring for the Community


Seyoum Adem saw his first nurse when he was

six years old and living in Oromia, a region of

Ethiopia. “My mother took me to the clinic, and I

was impressed by the nurse’s white clothes and

shoes,” he remembers.


Nursing was not his first career choice, however. After completing

an agricultural degree, Adem advised farmers on crop production.

In rural areas, he saw children with hunger-swollen bellies

and adults with malaria and other diseases. “They asked if we

were medical people, and they wanted us to treat them,” he says.

“I thought how good it would be to be a nurse because then I

could help them.”

Like many other members of the Oromo community, Adem

and his family fled Ethiopia to escape from political oppression.

Here in the United States, his community faces different, but no

less serious, health challenges.

“We have to adapt to different food and a more sedentary

lifestyle,” he explains. “At home we walked, but here we ride in

cars. Many people work two jobs and have no time to exercise.

They develop high blood pressure, obesity, and type 2 diabetes.”


Determined to realize his dream, Adem applied to the School of

Nursing and was accepted to the BSN program on the Rochester

campus. Commuting from the family home in Chaska wasn’t

possible, so Adem moved to Rochester.

“I really enjoyed school and working at the Mayo Clinic,” Adem

says. “But it was hard to be away from my family. I was always

thinking of my wife and my children. But the sacrifice was worth it.”

The 48-year-old Adem graduated with a BSN on May 15, 2008.

Two days later, he and his family returned to the University to

celebrate the graduation of his son, Abdisa Taddese, who earned a

degree in microbiology.


Adem hopes eventually to practice in public health, focusing on

health promotion in the Oromo community. He looks forward to

one day completing a doctorate of nursing practice.

He encourages men to consider nursing. “To me, it’s not a

gender-based profession,” he says. “Men can care for people just as

women can.”

Adem at BSN commencement

ceremony, May 2008.

doug flashinski:

At Home in Nursing

As a high school kid, Doug Flashinski considered

careers in nursing and school psychology. His

mother, a nurse, encouraged him to follow in her

footsteps, but he chose psychology. “Like many

18-year-olds, I questioned whether my mom knew

what’s best,” he says.


After graduating from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire in

2003, Flashinski found himself at a crossroads. He could either go

to graduate school or join his dad and brother on the family farm.

He chose the farm.

“I farmed for a few years and enjoyed it,” he says. “When I was

sitting in the tractor tilling the fields, I knew I was doing something

valuable.” But fieldwork aggravated his allergies, and Flashinski

wanted a different lifestyle. So he revisited his career choices. This

time, he opted for nursing.

10 minnesota nursing

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