Bachelor of Science in Nursing
"Nursing provides me with the skills and resources to do that for my local, national and global community."
When Abiola Abu-Bakr volunteered for two months in a rural community near Matagalpa, Nicaragua, she spent time in the community clinic. “I saw firsthand how big of a role the nurse played in the patient’s visit and overall well-being,” she said. “That experience is what sparked my interest in nursing because I realized how much of an impact I can have on individuals and the entire community.”
That desire to make an impact drove Abu-Bakr to apply to the University of Minnesota School of Nursing’s Bachelor of Science in Nursing program. “Choosing the University of Minnesota School of Nursing was one of the best decisions I have made. The opportunities and experiences I’ve had while being here have taught me so much and have truly been life-changing,” said Abu-Bakr. “I was able to study abroad, become part of one of the best school of nursing programs in the nation, and collaborate with leaders and members of the community that I grew up in.”
As a nursing student, Abu-Bakr had the opportunity to be a research intern for the Masonic Cancer Center at the University of Minnesota, where she worked on a team with three other interns, observing, documenting and evaluating the efficacy and delivery of an intervention program designed to lower substance use among Latino adolescents ages 10 through 14. “It allowed me to explore different interests, meet amazing peers, and learn more about my community,” said Abu-Bakr.
In addition to class, Abu-Bakr works as a peer advisor at the Community Service-Learning Center on campus. She is also the current president of the Sigma Alpha Chapter of Sigma Lambda Gamma National Sorority Inc. and a member of the Student Advisory Board for the Community Engagement Scholar’s program.
Abu-Bakr has made getting involved in off-campus opportunities a priority. “The University of Minnesota is surrounded by a great city and community and becoming a part of it has opened the door to a variety of amazing opportunities to do great things and meet amazing people,” she said. “The campus is surrounded by so many opportunities to explore different health care systems and nursing opportunities. It is also exciting that we are able to work with a diverse patient population no matter where we end up.”
Abu-Bakr volunteers as a case management intern for Aqui Para Ti at the Hennepin County Medical Center East Lake clinic and a kitchen aide for Open Arms. She’s also a student nurse for the Fairview Mini-Clinic and the program in Health Disparities Research’s Clipper Clinic.
Her achievements have not gone unnoticed. She recently received the President’s Student Leadership and Service Award, presented to approximately one-half of one percent of the student body for their exceptional leadership and service to the University of Minnesota and the surrounding community.
Abu-Bakr hopes to eventually go on to earn a Doctor of Nursing Practice degree with a specialty in health innovation and leadership or public health. “Bridging the gap between the community and the health care system is something I have always been interested in,” said Abu-Bakr. “Nursing provides me with the skills and resources to do that for my local, national and global community.”