International nurses like Michael Awotula are making a difference in communities across the United States as the overall shortage of U.S. nurses continues to grow. Michael, who earned a nursing degree on the F1 Visa in the U.S., is now excelling as a critical care registered nurse (RN) working in the Open-Heart Intensive Care Unit (OHICU) at a hospital in West Virginia.
Originally from Nigeria, Michael began his journey in the U.S. as an international student at Panola College in Carthage, Texas. Although he moved from Nigeria to study engineering, he ultimately decided to pursue a career as a registered nurse because it offered an opportunity to help others.
“I have always been intrigued by the dynamics associated with giving patients the quality intensive critical care they deserve,” Michael said. “I have a deep-rooted experience of observing poor critical care services being provided in underserved and low socioeconomic areas in my home country.”
After finishing his degree, Michael joined Conexus MedStaff and worked at a hospital in long term acute care before starting his current role in the OHICU at another facility.
“I enjoy being a part of the patient's journey in becoming healthy,” he said. “I believe that we can all relate that these patients can be our family members which we do care about and giving them top-notch care is unarguable.”
As a result of his heart for serving others and commitment to career growth, he was awarded the Conexus EARN Scholarship earlier this year.
“My experience can be described as such that propels me to be inquisitive and always looking for more ways to improve patient care in the intensive care unit, specifically with a better evidenced-based approach that can make a difference,” said Michael.
The Education Advancement for Registered Nurses (EARN) Scholarship is awarded to eligible Conexus nurses biannually. Selected recipients of the scholarship can use the money to advance their clinical knowledge, skills or education to further enhance the level and service of care provided to the healthcare community.
“I would like to express my sincere gratitude to Conexus MedStaff for this opportunity, it does portray that Conexus firmly embraces her motto of being a family that is committed to the growth of her employees,” Michael said. “I intend to take this opportunity wholeheartedly as I believe that it will be instrumental in contributing to my long-term term goal of being a competent, and skilled critical care nurse.”
Michael plans to use the scholarship to take the Critical Care Registered Nurse Certification Exam (CCRN) to grow as a critical care nurse. His long-term plan is to become a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist.
“I am excited about the future,” Michael said, “And even more glad about the opportunity to deliver quality care to patients that present with such need.”
If you’re a nursing student on the F1 Visa in the U.S., you should apply for post-graduation RN opportunities during your final year of nursing school so we can begin helping you with sponsorship paperwork before you start OPT.
We’re here to help through every step of your journey. Start your U.S. nursing career with Conexus today.