Relative’s death from nursing shortage spurs mother of four to earn degree from Miami University

The death of a hospitalized family member in Ghana, West Africa due to a shortage of nurses both haunted and motivated Effe Addae, who later came to America to earn a degree in nursing to ensure those suffering will never again lack for those who care.

Now an American citizen and married mother of four, Addae will receive her Bachelor of Science in Nursing diploma earned through classes at Miami University’s Hamilton regional campus.

Miami’s main commencement was May 14 at Yager Stadium.

Graduating cum laude from Miami isn’t her only notable distinction as she is also enrolled for this fall to be one of the first students enrolled in Miami’s new online Master’s degree program in nursing.

The program, which features three tracks — Family Nurse Practitioner, Nurse Educator and Nurse Executive Leadership — can be completed entirely online in two years. Addae will work toward the FNP degree.

It was a family tragedy that first led her to consider nursing as a career.

A relative in her native African country died while in an under-staffed hospital, Addae said, with only one nurse for every 50 patients.

“I vowed to become a nurse to care for the sick,” said Addae, a devout Christian. “I am a woman of faith.”

Earning a degree while raising four young children requires much, she said. So, she often turns to one of her favorite Bible passages.

“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. When the going gets tough, I just talk to my God.”

Addae’s perseverance of handling both motherhood times four and undergraduate classes drew both the attention of and praise of Miami University Hamilton professors.

“I remember bawling my eyes out one day when I was having a conversation with Miami Professor Dr. Eyad Mussallem because I thought I was going to fail a course,” Addae said. “He encouraged and believed in me when I felt I couldn’t find the strength to carry on.”

Addae “is an excellent student who is always willing to volunteer to help other students and goes above and beyond what is asked of her in the classroom,” said Tricia Neu, assistant professor of Nursing and director of the FNP track. “We are so excited to have her in our grad program.”

Addae wasn’t surprised by the academic assistance or high quality of it regional nursing professors.

“I decided to enroll at Miami University Regionals because of its outstanding academic reputation.”

And now she is also setting her sights on smashing a gender stereotype held by some family members in her old country.

“Becoming a nurse practitioner will allow me to become the first woman among my siblings to pursue (an advanced degree),” she said. “I’ll break the stereotype that only men can achieve higher academic success in my family.”

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