Ezakar Bigilinka

December 2009
Class of 2010


I believe this about nursing… “Through nursing I am able to serve the most vulnerable and neediest of people.”

God almighty has been gracious to me.  I survived the war and the Rwanda genocide.  I survived the overcrowded refugee camps infested with poisonous snakes, worms, malaria and other dangerous parasites that live in the huge Congo equatorial forest.  I have been resettled here in the United States where I am enjoying peace and freedom.  I can even dream of having a career.  For all these blessings, God must have a purpose in me.
For me, becoming a nurse is more than a question of choice.  I have a call to serve those who are the most vulnerable, especially those who have profound needs, like refugees.  As Mother Therese said, “All that is not given to the needy is lost.”  I have the strength and the ability to help and I should use my gifts and energy to help the underserved, wherever they are.
Although I am still a novice, I am thankful for a few things that I learned during my last semester.  I enjoyed making beds, giving bed baths, learning about drugs and passing medication, taking vital signs, doing head to toe physical assessment and incorporating spiritual care in all of my interactions with patients during clinical days.  At the end of my very first semester, I am more confident and believe that I will soon achieve my academic and professional goals.  The intrinsic value of seeing patients coming to the hospital with grief and leaving with a smile has given me the value of love for the hopeless. 
I owe to the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation the success that I am celebrating today. I am a refugee from Rwanda and I am using English as a third language to French and my mother tongue.  I had no resources and nobody to turn to but I had a solid debut in the nursing program because of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.  My success and experience will certainly inspire those men and women who may think that they cannot embrace the nursing career because of financial challenges.  For all of those who have that call and dream of helping the underserved and the neediest but may experience financial problems, I wish to let them know that nothing is impossible. The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation is the answer.