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Nursing legacy inspires Stephanie Ijaola to enhance health care for all

Photo courtesy of Isaiah Heath

When Stephanie Ijaola first attended college, she had no idea what she would major in.  After reminiscing about her mother’s educational journey, it didn’t take long to make a decision.

Ijaola, a Nigerian-American and the firstborn of six children, currently resides in Chicago, Illinois. Ijaola’s decision to become a nurse made her the third-generation nurse in her family. Ijaola proudly says, “my grandmother practiced in the UK and Nigeria, and my mother currently practices in California.”

Ijaola graduated magna cum laude from Resurrection University in December 2019. While attending its accelerated nursing program, Ijaola was also a Project Manager of the Student Nurse Association. Ijaola’s goal as a nurse is to enhance healthcare systems for all mankind.

What inspired you to show up to nursing school every day?
My mother. When I was 11 years old, my mom was in nursing school. I remember having to sit in the library with her classmates while they studied until midnight and I played my Nintendo DS. My mother ended nursing school at six months pregnant. Her determination to do well is what inspires me to never give up and work hard.

What is the best and worst thing about nursing school?
The best thing about nursing school is the education. You learn so much about the body and you become a professional. I love how knowledgeable nursing school has made me.

The worst part of nursing school is it’s time-consuming. To be a knowledgeable skilled nurse, you have to study very hard and put in work. This can take away from your time that can be used for self-care, family time, etc.,

Name 5 reasons why someone should consider being a nurse
1. You can be caring and [compassionate] no matter how nasty the patient treats you

2. You are willing to continuously learn for the rest of your career.

3. If you have great therapeutic communication skills and you love people

4. If you are somewhat good at math

5. If you can stand on your feet for at least 8 hours

Give three reasons a person of color should attend Resurrection University.
1.  ResU is such a diverse environment. I love the staff and student population. Everyone is willing to help each other out, especially those students who share the same race as you.

2. The Student Life team is amazing! They work hard on connecting you with the right person for whatever you need in order to be successful.

3. The faculty and staff at ResU [is] very diverse, which makes the environment so comfortable for us students of color.

About Stephanie Ijaola

The coolest thing about you:  I light up any room with my positive personality and pearly white smile.
Favorite restaurant: Any seafood spot with crab legs and shrimp
Favorite pastimes: Dancing and traveling