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NAU student credits White Memorial Medical Center with interest in nursing

Sunday August 10, 2014
Sean Begay
Sean Begay
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Sean Begay, who is half-Navajo, enrolled in Northern Arizona Universityís American Indian nursing program in August 2013 after he was inspired to become a nurse while volunteering at White Memorial Medical Center in Los Angeles. Begay volunteered as a transporter while he was in high school and in a work-development program after graduation from the University of California, San Diego, where he earned a bachelorís degrees in ethnic studies and in sociology: science-medicine.

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Q: How did you come to work at White Memorial?

A: After graduation from college, I contacted the volunteer director who told me about the Bank of America and White Memorial Medical Centerís Workforce Development Program. I was interested in diabetes and placed in a hospital diabetes clinic. It gave me perspective about the demographics of Type 2 diabetes and the issues patients deal with. It made me want to be a diabetes educator.

Q: What sparked your interest in nursing?

A: Working at White Memorial prompted my interest in helping my people and serving them from a direct standpoint. I can give back while educating them.

Q: What are your goals?

A: I want to work on the reservation for a few years. I also want to return to White Memorial as a nurse. They set the foundation for me educationally and professionally. I also want to pursue a PhD and go into teaching while doing research. At UC San Diego, I participated in a research project that focused on Navajo uranium mining and [I] enjoyed that.

Q: If you didnít find nursing, what might you be doing?

A: Teaching at a university. Sociology was interesting, and it would be great to be a professor.

For more on NAU's American Indian nursing program

For more on NAU's American Indian nursing program, visit http://news.nurse.com/article/20140810/CA02/140809001#.U-vNCfldUQM.

For more on Bank of America grant

For more information on the Bank of America grant, visit, http://news.nurse.com/article/20140810/CA02/140809002#.U-vIP_ldUQM.


Debra Anscombe Wood, RN, is a freelance writer. Post a comment below or email editorWest@nurse.com.