West Coast University-Texas student Dana Al Qalawi found the key to mapping out her career path was listening to her heart — and that led her straight to the nursing field.
“I’ve been wanting to be in the medical field since I was a kid,” Dana said. “I was not into any other field, I didn’t have the heart for it, and to me if you don’t have your heart in something it’s not worth going there.”
While currently working as a pharmacy technician, Dana is entering her second year in the BSN program. She credits a campus visit as what led to her ultimate decision to attend WCU-Texas. Typically, a hands-on learner, Dana recalls falling in love with what the campus had to offer during an in-person orientation.
“I came to orientation, I saw the simulation center and everything that West Coast University does, and it made my heart beat,” she said.
While Dana had to quickly adapt to online learning during her first-year due to the pandemic, she now excitedly awaits to begin her clinical rotation as campus doors re-open. Dana notes that starting skills lab on campus, and being around others, will be a reminder of what matters most.
“Nursing is not just about the money, and I don’t care about the money,” she said. “I have a goal, and if I meet that goal that’s what I care about. Seeing these people smiling, helping people out every day, changing people’s lives, that’s what I love about nursing.”
Dana’s motivational mantra: “It’s a beautiful day to save lives,” pushes her closer to that goal daily. For Dana, being there for others, giving her best, and having a big heart are qualities of the type of nurse she wants to be.
“This is what I want to do,” Dana said. “If my heart beats for it, then this is the right place for me.”
Dana is interested in working with children in pediatrics, and she desires to continue her education by pursuing her nurse practitioner and master’s degree in the future. As Dana follows her heart to pursue her dreams, her advice to other students is to be yourself, go for the field you want, and work for it.
“Keep pushing through, we can do this, we can be whatever we want to be,” she shared. “And remember, success is not about how your life looks to others, it’s about how it feels to you.”