Alumna Soha Sahwan looks to UAB School of Nursing for best practices
Soha Sahwan, RN, MSN, an alumna from the School's Nursing Health Systems Administration (NHSA) Program recognized the consistent growth and innovation at UAB and sought to become part of it once more. She returned to her alma mater in the summer of 2014 for a visiting scholar and mentorship program that will aid her in a career transition.
Sahwan's employer gave her the choice between several top ranked nursing schools to continue her studies. She chose UAB because she had experienced first-hand how the university delivers on the promise of excellence.
"I consider UAB a second home," said Sahwan. "This is where I learned to become a great nurse, and this is where I want to continue to expand my knowledge and learn to become an even better nurse leader."
Sahwan was the nurse manager of two surgical units at King Fahad Specialist Hospital in Dammam, Saudi Arabia, a position she assumed shortly after graduating with her masters in nursing from UAB. Recently, the organization announced the development of the new rehabilitation program and Soha expressed her interest in taking the lead in this program development project. The program will start with 20 beds and is targeted to expand to 150 beds within the next five years with the creation of a new regional rehabilitation center. Sahwan is tasked with operationalizing the unit expansion and integrating it within the center.
Sahwan spent four weeks at the UAB School of Nursing this past summer studying under the mentorship of Maria Shirey, PhD, MBA, RN, NEA-BC, ANEF, FACHE, FAAN, Professor and Assistant Dean for Clinical and Global Partnerships. Shirey specializes in executive nurse leadership practice and helped Sahwan develop her management skills.
Sahwan also worked closely with Deborah Walker, BSN, MA, RN, NE-BC, Nurse Manager at UAB's world-renowned Spain Rehabilitation Center. While at Spain, Sahwan was immersed with the center's interprofessional clinical team, learning about program accreditation, resource allocation, technology, high performance teams, and patient care quality and safety. Sahwan said her visit was short, but meaningful and information packed. She returns to Saudi Arabia with invaluable knowledge that she can utilize in her role transition.
Sahwan added that her involvement with UAB Nursing's Academic Practice Partnership fulfills the UAB promise to stand by its students and alumni in each phase of their careers. Sahwan took with her the first time her MSN degree, and now she leaves UAB with the knowledge to start a new rehabilitation center at King Fahad Specialist Hospital in Dammam, Saudi Arabia.
"We feel very honored that Soha decided to come full circle and return to UAB," said Shirey. "We are confident she returns to Saudi Arabia with a newfound leadership toolkit that she can then pass on to her colleagues—spreading nursing excellence throughout the globe."