After Raouth R. Kostandy, PhD, MSN, RN, CKC, earned her BSN and MSN in Egypt, she eventually arrived in the U.S. and earned her PhD in Nursing from Case Western Reserve University's Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing. Now an Assistant Professor at Cleveland State University's School of Nursing, Dr. Kostandy describes how she got into nursing by chance, but fell in love with the profession because it provides her an opportunity to make a difference in the lives of both her patients and students. Nursing has also allowed her to add a drop in the big bucket of nursing knowledge through her research, which she continues to work on daily. Read more about how she keeps her passion and enthusiasm for nursing alive.
I began my nursing education in Egypt, my native country. I remember my first year in nursing college as a dedicated student who was just trying to figure out if this career was for me. Fast forward four years, and I had graduated with honors, second in my class. I knew that I wanted to work with neonates and children, and was immediately hired as a nurse resident at my city’s university hospital NICU unit. I worked 12-14 hour days, six days a week while also working on my master’s degree. It was exhausting but amazingly rewarding whether as the NICU nurse manager (at my city university hospitals) or as a pediatric faculty lecturer in my college of nursing. When a baby was discharged, or when my students taught a mom how to care for her preterm infant (which they just learned how to do themselves), or when I looked at my data to find patterns, I felt a fire growing inside me pushing me to do more and to keep going.
Today, this celebration makes me pause and reflect on my journey so far and where I am headed. I still have that fire inside me, because every day brings new experiences, new hopes, and new challenges. With God’s help, I am ready for it all.
My students keep me going. It is a privilege to be part of preparing new generations of nurses and to advance the learning of current amazing nurses. I learn a lot from my students too.
My research keeps me going because researching new aspects of maternal-neonatal care and sharing it with the professional community to be implemented in practice is my ultimate reward.
Nursing practices and knowledge are always changing. However, the core of nursing remains unchanged, from the days of Florence Nightingale to the unknowns of the future; it will remain the same across the globe. I am part of this! What more could I need or want?