A Q&A with Nan Lin

Nan Lin made her way from Burma to the US in 2012, and 10 years later, walked the stage to receive her RN BSN degree from ECPI University in 2022. Read her tremendous story here.

What motivated you to want to pursue your degree?  What were you doing for work previously?

“I was a nursing student in Burma and been selected as one of the scholarship students by a hospital in Singapore in 2005, attending Nanyang Polytechnic for a Diploma in Nursing. I graduated in 2009 as an RN in Singapore. I worked 3 years in Singapore in the Neuro Med Surg ward as a staff, then a clinical instructor before I came to the USA. I followed my husband Naing who is USA citizen at that time and struggled to get my RN license in the USA when I got pregnant with my first child, Nobel. I finally passed NCLEX RN in 2015 and worked as an occupational nurse in Tyson Foods, Inc. where many Burmese, Asians, refugees and legal immigrants work hard to feed the nation. Later on, I worked as a home health staff nurse while I was in the school with ECPI pursuing my RN to BSN degree. To answer your question straight, nurses are the lifesavers who need continuous learning. Higher education will be required if I want to become a nurse in a specialty such as Nurse Practitioner, Lecturer and so on. Becoming a BSN is one step closer to my dream: becoming a nurse in those specializations.”

Why did you choose ECPI?

“When I started inquiring about schools to get my BSN, ECPI is the one who responded quick enough and the staff who handled my application sounded very welcoming. I immediately felt that the faculties from ECPI will be able to get me through what I needed to become a BSN without wasting time. On top of that, I love the one term at a time program while I am still able to work full time and take care of my two young kids and my senior mother.  Another reason I know I chose the right school is that my Director of Nursing, Kim Diehl, from my work (Pediatric home health nursing) had talked about ECPI at one of my annual Skill Fairs for my current job.”

Q: Did you face any obstacles while attending ECPI? If so, how did you overcome them?

“As an ESL student, I hesitated on socializing with other students and faculty members because I did not want to make people mad as I am still adapting to the culture. However, the other students and the faculty members recognized me through my messages from the introduction and the group discussion. To overcome this struggle with the language barrier, I tried my very best to interact with the fellow classmates and instructors by commenting on their posts constructively, being kind while pointing out my opinions and responding to their replies respectfully. In addition to that, writing and researching the credible sources was my weakness until the instructors walked me through using the ECPI online library. I had to spend a whole week to do one paper, reading, researching, and making sure my writing would be comprehensive. The writing center was very helpful for me to overcome that. I prepared myself to listen and be humble to be able to observe the norms and culture of the USA, while sharing my unique value and culture.”

What has your career looked like since you graduated?

“I have been working as a RN and I will be still working as a staff nurse with more knowledge, more expectation and more responsibility. I will be always mindful of my title as an RN BSN which I will need continuous education to update myself and be able to behave professionally whenever the challenges arise.”

Who is your current employer? Job title?

“Continuum Pediatric Home Health Nursing (Hickory, NC). I have been working with them as a staff nurse/field nurse since 2017 caring for a high acuity patient and bonding with the family members while giving them care and ongoing education.”

What is your advice to new graduates or current students?

“I would love to inspire everyone who is willing to learn and grow to keep going forward slowly and steadily; set the realistic goal and don’t lose sight of the set goal. We may be slow like tortoise but wise. We need to be humbled when we get to the point where we wanted and help others. Do not be like the arrogant hare.”

Anything else you’d like to share?

“I have enjoyed the ECPI online RN BSN program while working as an RN full time and being a mother of two young kids who are looking up to me. I also have many nursing friends in Singapore where I worked. I want to inspire them and the other friends in Burma who are envying my route to success. I also want to help any other ESL students and the nurses who are on the way to their goal. I hope my story excites those who may get tired now to think they are not going anywhere. Look how far you have come once and keep going forward slowly. Be thankful and celebrate the success with those who support you along the way. Do not stop sharing knowledge, experience while still learning about others.”

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