Waheeda Siddiqui

December 2011
Class of 2012


I believe this about nursing... "Nurses are the greatest teachers."

I was born and raised in Kabul, Afghanistan until I was ten years old. I then had to move to Pakistan because of the civil war and lived there for another four years as a refugee in one of the poorest cities.  During these years I witnessed the needs and shortages of healthcare providers everywhere.  Most importantly, I witnessed the shortages of individuals who could promote and teach basic healthy living to unprivileged people.  For example, in Pakistan, malaria and diarrhea were the top deadly diseases for the children in the community.  If people were taught ways to prevent the spread of the parasite and the bacterium that causes these diseases, these “top” diseases could easily be averted and the child mortality rate would decline dramatically. 

With all these health issues in mind, I moved to United States when I was fifteen years old as a refugee with the help of International Rescue Committee (IRC).  As I was going through high school here in the States, I realized that science and biology were my favorite subjects, and when I entered college, I majored in Biological Sciences and earned my Bachelor’s degree in 2010.  During my college years I shadowed two of the greatest nurses in the county hospital where I was able to see the great responsibilities nurses undertake and the joys of healing and companionship that comes from directly taking care of the sick by their bedside.  By my senior year in college, I was confident on earning a career in nursing. 

My greatest exposure and motivation to become a nurse, however, comes from my mom. Being a nurse herself, my mom has thought me to be patient and caring throughout my life.  She healed people when they were most vulnerable and provided comfort during difficult times. She has proved to me that a nurse can bring joy and comfort to people’s lives.  As a nurse, she is an important figure in the community and changes people’s daily lives.  The chance to make even a small difference in people’s lives, like my mom, makes me more determined to become a nurse. 

I started the accelerated nursing program at Creighton University in August 2011.  I could have not done it without the help of The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, New Careers in Nursing Scholarship.  The foundation has enabled me financially to get to where I want to be and to help me become a successful nurse.  They have matched me with a brilliant mentor who is the chief executive in one of the largest hospitals in Omaha.  She has been a great role model and supporter throughout my nursing school journey.  She teaches me confidence and determination to get through the program smoothly and successfully.  I am thankful of The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and appreciate their consideration greatly.