Amel Elshaier (above, left) says her immediate plans are to continue working as a registered nurse at Bay Area Medical Center in Marinette.
Some day, though, the naturalized American citizen, healthcare professional and educator would like to return to Egypt to help advance the practice of nursing education in her native country to the level she’s experienced in the United States.
Last Saturday (Dec. 13) Elshaier earned her bachelor’s of nursing degree at UW-Green Bay. She posed for a family snapshot with her daughter after the ceremony at the Weidner Center for the Performing Arts.
Elshaier emigrated from Egypt after receiving a doctor of medicine degree and master’s in internal medicine from Alexandria University in the late 1990s. She completed a doctorate in biochemistry at Chicago’s Rush University in 2006, and became a U.S. citizen in 2009.
She taught biochemistry at the UW College in Marinette for several semesters before settling on nursing as a focus for further schooling. In 2012 she started consulting with advisers in UW-Green Bay’s Professional Program in Nursing to supplement her studies at NWTC toward an associate degree in nursing. She began taking the general-education courses and, later, specialized upper-level courses necessary to turn her two-year R.N. diploma into a baccalaureate credential.
At UW-Green Bay, Elshaier won praise from faculty members for her professionalism, motivation and willingness to share with teachers and classmates stories from her own diverse experiences along with cultural perspectives on the nursing profession.
“She is articulate, bright and very supportive of nursing,” Associate Prof. Christine Vandenhouten said of Elshaier.
For the Nursing 455 course this past fall — the Community Health Practicum — Elshaier responded to a request made by community health staff members with whom she worked, and published an article in the Oneida tribal newspaper informing readers about infant wellness. In addition to a full academic course load, working as an RN and holding family responsibilities as a wife and mother of four children, she has been an active parent volunteer in the Peshtigo School District.
Elshaier tells her UW-Green Bay instructors she would some day like to apply her experience here to promoting stronger nursing-education programs in Egypt.