Nursing student Victor Okorie left a banking career in Nigeria to help save lives through nursing

KCC Nursing student Victor Okorie poses in a Nursing Lab on KCC's North Avenue campus in Battle Creek.

Photo by Bailey Scott

For Victor Okorie, joining the Kellogg Community College Nursing Program this fall was the culmination of a paradigm shift that led him from the banking industry of Nigeria to the health care field in Michigan.

Okorie, 37, came to the U.S. seven years ago from Nigeria, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in economics and a master’s degree in international economics and spent four years working in the banking industry. Yet when he saw the needs and the pain of people who needed health care, he says, he decided to make a career change and help “put smiles on their faces and warmth in their hearts.”

Okorie says he wants to be a nurse to help patients using non-pharmacological tools – things like massage or the simple act of providing a warm blanket – to supplement the more traditional approaches to pain management. Most importantly, though, Okorie says he wants to help give patients hope, and to save lives.

“Life has no part two; you have to make the best of every moment you have while you’re on planet Earth,” Okorie says. “Every opportunity for me to save a life is a clarion call for me. So I see it as one of my callings, to save lives, to make sure that folks who are caught in that web of dying can be given hope, and to keep hope alive.”

A certified nursing assistant (CNA) at Henry Ford Allegiance Health in Jackson for the past five and a half years, Okorie says he chose KCC’s Nursing Program over others because the College is a trusted name in health care education, offering one of the best nursing schools in the state.

“KCC’s Nursing Program is like a mountain among all of the mountains, like a hill among all of the hills, it’s like a city that is set on the hilltop that can never be hidden,”Okorie says. “I love it here.”

After graduating from KCC, Okorie plans on pursuing a bachelor’s degree in nursing, possibly from the University of Michigan, and perhaps work in cardiovascular or critical care nursing, “where the sickest of the sickest” are, he says.

“I just want to make sure I put smiles on their faces and warmth in their hearts, and to make sure there is hope and there’s light at the end of every tunnel,” he says. “That they keep hope alive and know that it’s not over until it’s over.”

Study Nursing at KCC

Applications for KCC’s Fall 2018 Full-Time Nursing Program are available now! Visit www.kellogg.edu/nursing for more information.

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