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St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital- Diversity in Nursing

Today’s “Focus on Diversity” article features Hassan Manneh, an ICU Nurse at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, TN. St. Jude is one of the world’s premier pediatric cancer research centers. Its mission is to find cures for children with cancer and other catastrophic diseases through research and treatment. St. Jude creates more clinical trials for cancer than any other children’s hospital. They also research areas of medicine that pose a risk to children with cancer, such as infectious diseases. St. Jude has treated children from all 50 states and around the world.

Hassan grew up in Gambia, West Africa where his father is a medical doctor. Hassan attributes his desire to become a Nurse because of growing up in a medical family. He came to the United States in 2003 when he was 17 to go to school and travel. As an international student, he is delighted that he secured a job, became a US citizen and pursued his dream to become a Nurse. He attended Rust College and earned degrees in Biology and Chemistry. He continued his education and received a 3rd degree, his BSN, from Union University.

Hassan has built a wonderful life with his wife and 2 young children and… he “LOVES working at St. Jude”. He said this many times. He enjoys working three 12-hour shifts/week because it gives him time to be totally focused at work and when he’s home, time to enjoy his family.

While earning his 1st degree, Hassan wanted to volunteer at St. Jude. He discovered they offered a “Pathology Shadow Program”. This program is for college students to gain insight into the many opportunities available in clinical laboratory Sciences including Medical Technology, Histotechnology, and Cytogenetic Technology. Hassan shadowed in the blood bank. He noticed everyone he was around at St. Jude was happy and he knew he wanted to be there. This experience confirmed that Nursing is what he wanted to do. A year after starting the program, he started working on his BSN!

After graduation, he applied for a Nursing position at St. Jude with the intent to eventually work in the ICU. The same recruiter who placed him in the “pathology shadow program” helped him secure a Nursing position working with leukemia patients in Hematology & Oncology. He learned a lot and discovered he could transition to the ICU. Everyone he worked with was supportive and said he’d do well there. It helped that he already knew the charts and the policies.

When Hassan and I first started our interview, he told me immediately that he loves working at St. Jude. He loves his schedule, his patients, his colleagues and his profession. St. Jude is the reason he stays in TN. He’s been offered opportunities in other states, but again… he loves it at St. Jude! I asked him about working with very ill children and how difficult it must be for him. He said everyone asks him about it from people in parking lots who stop him because they see his St. Jude parking sticker to friends and family.

His response, “I work with amazing people. We support each other. I work on an interdisciplinary team with a common goal to help children fight cancer. I’m never alone. Everyone from housekeeping to the top is working toward a common interest.” Hassan also said “this is how I look at it… it’s not just a job, it’s a calling. I get to be part of a team that saves lives and I earn a good living. I couldn’t ask for anything better. I feel this makes me a good person.”

Hassan mentioned that many international people work at St. Jude. The staff is very diverse including staff from West Africa like Hassan, as well as other countries. He is very proud to work at one of America’s top companies to work for and a Magnet hospital. It was very inspiring to speak with Hassan and learn about how happy he is working with the terrific people at St. Jude who work to save children’s lives every day.

On St. Jude’s Nursing careers page it states “The environment is positive here – it’s one of caring and learning and feeling good about what you do at the end of the day. Our education program is outstanding. Our equipment and facilities are modern and family-centered. Our employee satisfaction is high. St. Jude helps you to practice the way you learned in Nursing School.”

If Hassan’s story inspires you, click this link, or the Banner to learn more about St. Jude and search their open career opportunities.

St. Jude’s is unlike any other pediatric treatment and research facility. Discoveries made here have completely changed how the world treats children with cancer and other catastrophic diseases. With research and patient care under one roof, St. Jude is where some of today’s most talented, compassionate and dedicated nurses work. Please consider a career at St. Jude Children’s Hospital.

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