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Graduation Night for Sierra Leone Nurses in Texas

Graduation Night for Sierra Leone Nurses in Texas

Dallas, Texas, U.S.A, June 20, 2011. Dr. Alie Patrick Koroma has joined three Sierra Leone Nurses who have recently tossed their mortarboards in the air at the Texas Women’s University (TWU) to celebrate their hard-earned degrees of Nurse Practitioners.  The occasion was held at the Garland Convention Center in Texas. Among the three graduate nurses were, Zainabu Koroma, Josephine Faulkner, and Assiatu Smith.  These three women have successfully completed their Master’s degrees and advanced to become Nurse Practitioners.  The graduation marked another milestone in the graduate’s lives, while the Sierra Leone community in the cities of Dallas Fort-Worth was proud to celebrate such an accomplishment.  (Photo:  the four graduates)

Dr. Alie Patrick Koroma who has earlier refused to be honored for such a celebration when he graduated last fall with a Doctor of Science, (PhD) Degree in Biology finally accepted his wife’s choice to celebrate together with colleagues.  Such a superior ability has brought a pride to our country especially when more Sierra Leoneans in the Diaspora are determined to face the millennium challenges of amelioration. 

Dr. Koroma presenting plaque of pride to his wife Zainabu Koroma

The four graduates’ speeches were all centered on adversity and perseverance.  They believe that, without courage and admirable perseverance, they would have not achieved such a great accomplishment.  Dr. Alie Patrck Koroma, the last speaker, enumerated his historical background starting from primary school to an advanced education, and further praised the effort of his parents who encouraged him from the start to this level.  He said that every one of his family members contributed to his success.   Dr. Koroma honored his wife, Zainabu Koroma, who was also among the graduates by conferring to her a plaque of pride for her loyalty and devotion to their relationship and family.  His relationship with Zainabu was clearly centered on a personal bond and mutual obligation, Dr. Koroma asserted.

Friends and families applaud the graduates

Before Dr. Koroma’s speech, each of the Nurse Practitioners’ graduates also accentuated by the fact that their successes were due to the great help they had got from their husbands namely, Dr. Koroma himself, Mr. Akie Faulkner, and Mr. Francis Smith respectively.  The three beautiful ladies believe that their husbands really made vital contributions to their fulfillment.  Mr. Akie Faulkner is a very prominent Sierra Leonean in Texas with an approval rating of best community man because of his affection and acquaintances to people.

Dr.Koroma's Mother-in-law rejoicing

Dr. Patrick Muana who enthusiastically accepted to be the Master of Ceremony noted that such a community gathering to celebrate for academic and career accomplishment is a lifting spirit for ethnic unity and nationalism.  Dr. Muana is an English Professor at the Texas Agriculture and Mechanical University (Texas A & M) at college station. 

Earlier, the show was opened with prayers in Islamic and Christian ways. Alhaji Salieu led the Muslim prayers and Dr. Herbert Coker led the Christian prayers.  Dr. Coker reiterated in his prayers that America deserves more credit to this executions for what he believe was the architect of all these augmentation. He repeatedly saying, God bless America!  Dr. Coker applauded that America is a land of opportunity which these four graduates have explored to make use of it, therefore honoring it by saying, God bless America several more times with less blessings to the graduates themselves. 

Over the years, a nursing career has formed the largest professional discipline that Sierra Leoneans have been focusing on in the medical field to care on everyday basis for sustainability.  The fact is that nurse practitioners with Master’s Degrees are trained to perform many of the same functions as family physicians.  The American healthcare system believes that this advanced level of nursing can provide the health-care system with less cost but would provide similar or sometimes better quality care.  Studies have shown that patients seeing nurse practitioners tend to be just as satisfied with their service if not  better than some professional doctors.

More of the audience including the author of this article

Healthcare issue is one of the global challenges that these three women had faced with courage despite numerous constraints they had undergone.  Working full time, taking care of families, and studies at the same time was not an easy task, the Co-Master of Ceremony, Mrs. Millicent Miller said.  Despite the struggle, coping and focusing were the challenging force the graduates used to overcome problems for achieving their goals, the MC, Dr. Muana noted.

The three women would now serve as consultants, doing research for our deplorable diseases such as malaria, typhoid fever, and diabeties to benefit not only Sierra Leoneans but also people living in America.  They will also have to provide to individuals, communities, and institutions here in America and at home to achieve quality healthcare service and cost effectiveness advantage.  

In the program, the nurses later launched, The Sierra Leone Immigrant Diabetic Education (SLIDE) in video.  Details of SLIDE will soon be published when the website is perfectly built. Sierra Leoneans are now free from being charged exorbitantly high costs for co-pay to get a prescription.  

By Sanpha Sesay, Texas Senior Correspondent 
Photos: Les Rickford Photography

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