Amie Jabang immigrated to the United States from the West African country of Gambia in 2005. Soon after, she started a family with her husband and was amazed by the care she received from nurses throughout her four pregnancies. Amie noticed how compassionate they were to help ease her fear and anxiety through the language barrier.
After starting her family, Amie knew she wanted to be a caregiver. She began by taking CNA classes at a local college in Madison, Wisconsin and got a job caring for people with mental health conditions. Several years later, Amie started looking for a nursing program that would fit her needs while still working full time.
“Because English is my fifth language, I knew I’d need help getting through the program,” Amie said. “When I found out that Herzing offered small class sizes and one-on-one appointments with faculty and student mentors, I was very impressed. Herzing was exactly what I was looking for!”
Amie enrolled in the associate nursing degree program at Herzing’s Madison campus in 2016. While in school, she completed one of her clinicals at a local hospital in Madison and was later hired to work there as a CNA while she finished her degree.
During her clinicals, Amie realized she liked the fast pace of working in a hospital and the wide array of patients and conditions she treated in the surgical unit.
“Being exposed to a variety of patient populations and conditions helped me develop many nursing skills. It made me realize I wanted to work in an environment where I would continue seeing diversity in my day-to-day work,” she said.
In 2018, Amie finished her associate degree, passed the NCLEX and was hired as a registered nurse (RN) at the hospital. She also enrolled in Herzing’s RN to BSN program and accepted a new RN position to work in the rehabilitation unit in Madison.
While nursing school was challenging, Amie credits her peers and instructors for supporting her through it. She made weekly appointments to review writing and other assignments with her instructors, who never hesitated to accommodate her.
“The small class sizes made a huge difference in allowing all of us to bond,” she said. “I felt a sense of belonging among a group of very diverse students. We all became friends, and even now, several of the nurses at my job are Herzing graduates.”
After completing her BSN in 2020, Amie received a pay increase from the hospital where she works. She also started working part-time as an educator, teaching staff to become CNAs.
Looking ahead, Amie wants to take on greater responsibility for patient care. She plans to enroll in a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) program at Herzing and considering becoming a nurse practitioner or psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner.