Where Are They Now? Naira Qazi '12

September 16, 2015

Naira Qazi

Naira is pursuing her passion for critical care nursing and life-long learning. We asked her a few questions!

What did you study at Simmons?

I graduated from Simmons in 2012 with my BS in Nursing. I completed my senior practicum on Finard 4 Intensive Care Unit at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC). 

What have you been doing since you graduated from Simmons?

After graduating from Simmons College, I was accepted into a new graduate intensive care program at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN. The program was designed for new graduate registered nurses with twelve-weeks of orientation both in the classroom and in the ICU. After completing the twelve- week orientation, I transitioned to staff RN on the Medical Intensive Care Unit (MICU). Working and living in Minnesota was an exciting and unique experience, but after about a year, I was ready for my next adventure back in Boston. I began to look for ICU jobs in Boston and reached out to my senior practicum preceptor at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. After talking to her and applying to a few ICU jobs in the Boston area, I accepted a MICU RN position at BIDMC.

As I continued to refine and improve my ICU skills by bedside practice and knowledge by obtaining my Critical Care Registered Nurse certification (CCRN), I developed a passion to advance my nursing career. This new passion pushed me to pursue higher education and I am currently in my third semester of graduate school, studying to obtain a Master Degree in Nurse Anesthesia. 

What made you want to focus on critical care nursing?

Throughout my nursing curriculum at Simmons College, reading about critical care excited me. The thrill and excitement of attempting to rescue a critically ill patient peaked my interest. The senior practicum portion of the nursing curriculum allowed me the opportunity to explore this specialty of nursing and see if it was something I was interested in pursuing as a full time career. Working with a critical care nurse for over 160 hours throughout the semester, really allowed me to understand the ins and outs of being a critical care nurse. I loved working in the ICU so much that I completed all of my required hours within the first half of the semester. At the completion of my senior practicum, I was sure I wanted to be a critical care nurse! 

How did Simmons help prepare you for your graduate program?

Simmons really helped me to become an active learner. Both nursing and non-nursing classes at Simmons fostered my desire to ask questions and challenge myself to try new experiences. In many of my graduate school classes, my classmates and I discuss our experiences as staff nurses and how those experiences will shape our practice as advance practice nurses. Participating in these discussion is something I am very comfortable with due to my learning experience at Simmons. The core of many of my nursing classes at Simmons was discussion about experiences as nursing students within our clinical sites.

What was your favorite class you took at Simmons? Why?

One of my favorite classes was ENGL 195 Art of Film with Professor Leonard. My experience with this class truly embodied the Simmons experience for me. I had absolutely no experience with art or film history prior to taking this class. Professor Leonard's passion and dedication to this class really transferred over to me. The class challenged me to view art and film with a new appreciation. Every topic we learned was completely new to me, but the way the class was designed, I was excited to learned about the unknown!

What's the most valuable lesson Simmons taught you?

The most valuable lesson Simmons taught me was to not fear the unknown. Moving to Minnesota as a new graduate nurse was a very scary and unfamiliar experience for me. But I knew that Simmons College nursing had prepared me with the right tools to take on this new experience. Along with this life skill, Simmons also taught me how to critically analyze situations to be successful in what I do both in the classroom and outside.

What advice would you give to the current Simmons nursing students?

I would advise current Simmons nursing students to try something new and unknown at Simmons. Join a club or take an elective that will challenge you! The nursing curriculum is a very rigorous and challenging one, but it is still important to venture outside the nursing world and see what great opportunities Simmons has to offer.

Where do you see yourself in ten years?

In ten years I hope to be a successfully practicing nurse anesthetist. Also, teaching is something I have always enjoyed. During my time at Simmons I was an academic tutor for various nursing courses and teaching patients and families is something I did daily as a staff nurse. These experiences led me to believe I will enjoy teaching future nurses and nurse anesthetists.

What's your Simmons moment?

Some of my fondest memories of Simmons stem from being a part of Simmons Student Nurses Association. This was one of the first clubs I decided to join when I started at Simmons and truly one of the best decisions. Simmons SNA provided both educational and social events that allowed me to love nursing early in my career as a student nurse. Joining as a general member and graduating as the vice president of the association, Simmons SNA is a blueprint to my journey at Simmons.