Through Their Eyes
When Chijioke Okeke-Ekpe isn’t meeting with the Men in Nursing Club or the Black Student Nurses Association, he is often helping faculty, students, and staff with new student orientations, simulations, speaking engagements, or other projects. He says everything he does outside of the classroom is to improve his insight into nursing.
“Education is more than a list of facts you’re absorbing. It’s a huge collection of people, ideas, and evidence, and the more perspective I can acquire, the better off I will be,” says Okeke-Ekpe. “After all, why not take advantage of everything Hopkins has to offer me?”
Okeke-Ekpe also volunteers time to the Hopkins Dunbar program where he talks about men in nursing and helps students with mock interviews. He says it’s his space to give nursing a bigger voice. It was just a few years ago when, for lack of better-known options, he was on the road to medical school, but the guidance of a nurse encouraged him to look into becoming a family nurse practitioner.
“I wonder how many others are defaulting to medicine because they never thought of nursing as an option? That was me, but now I’m here, and I want to represent, to show them there are so many possibilities. To me, the best part of learning is not just knowing the language and skills in your own head, but being able to teach it to someone else for their benefit.”