Mira Khanal has more than 15 years of working experience in nursing. She is the principal of Alka Institute of Medical Sciences (AIMS), Hattiban,
Lalitpur. Apart from managing college administration, she loves to teach subjects like management, research and child care.
In conversation with Republica’s Prasansha Rimal, she shares her inspiration to pursue nursing, its scope in Nepal and the challenges she has had to face.
What inspired you to pursue nursing?
I studied about Florence Nightingale as a child and that inspired me to get into nursing. I wanted to serve the community and nursing seemed like the perfect field for that. As a nurse, you are always serving the community in one way or the other. You are also building your career.
Is nursing an attractive profession in Nepal?
Nursing is actually a long term academic course. And it is more than a profession. Nepal has opportunities for nurses as the government has also introduced PhD in nursing program. An individual should also be aware about the prospects in this field and should be able to grab the opportunities provided by both the government and other private
How is Proficiency Certificate Level (PCL) nursing different from Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) nursing?
You need to study PCL nursing as soon as you finish your School Leaving Certificate (SLC) but if you want to study BSN nursing you need to first complete your high school in science specializing in biology. PCL nursing builds the foundation to work in this field. It would be better to study to PCL nursing if you want to pursue career in this field in Nepal but if you want to pursue career abroad it would be better to study BSN nursing. After completing PCL nursing, you need to work for a year before starting academic course of Post Basic Bachelor of Nursing (PBBN). PCL nursing emphasizes more practical knowledge required to work in a developing country like Nepal.
What are some of the challenges you have faced so far?
When you are a nurse, just because you finished your shift doesn’t mean you stop working. You have a responsibility toward your patients. You have to work hard and be ready to help people in need no matter the situation. Sometimes you might have to work both day and night shifts and it becomes difficult to work when you have no support from your family. People also label nurses in a negative way and have wrong perception about the profession which used to bother me. I am now glad to see the changes in people’s perception with the change of time.
What does it take to be a good nurse?
Nursing is a career with a lot of potential in Nepal and abroad. The opportunities in this field are limitless; you just have to learn to utilize the opportunities. It would be better to study in Nepal rather than to study abroad as the practical education in this field is better here. If you are determined to be a nurse, you have to be ready to work hard and also accept the responsibility you have towards the society and country.