Sean Begay, who is half-Navajo, enrolled in Northern Arizona Universitys 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 bachelors degrees in ethnic studies and in sociology: science-medicine.
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 Centers 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 didnt 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.