Part of our ‘They Chose OHSU’ blog series. They could have gone anywhere, and chose OHSU. These accomplished scientists, promising students and leading clinicians were convinced they could do their best work at OHSU. Here, according to each of them, is why.
Wafaa Bin Ali, M.S.N., R.N., entered the OHSU School of Nursing’s Ph.D. program in 2012. She received her master’s degree in nursing at George Mason University in Fairfax, Va., in 2004. She is continuing her research on CRRT at the OHSU School of Nursing and her committee chair is Dr. Dena Hassouneh. She is scheduled to complete her Ph.D. requirements in December. Bin Ali, a native of Saudi Arabia, earned a scholarship to pursue her Ph.D. from King Saud bin Abdulaziz University for Health Science in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, where she remains on the faculty.
"I chose the Ph.D. program at the OHSU School of Nursing because the faculty was very engaged in research.
“I became interested in research early in my career, working as a nurse in Saudi Arabia. I completed my bachelor’s degree in Saudi Arabia and then worked for four years as a bedside nurse in an intensive care unit there.
“While working as a nurse, I became interested in how things were done, and why. I was intrigued by the complexity of CRRT (continuous renal replacement therapy) and the controversy surrounding it.
“Patients with acute kidney injury often need CRRT, and it can be life-saving. I led some trainings that produced good results. And that led me to want to formalize that with a research study. My long-term goal is that my research can help ICUs around the world improve CRRT.
“My mom didn’t finish elementary school, but she made sure that my siblings and I received a good education. She was very enthusiastic about education as a way to be independent. I come from a traditional Saudi Arabian family — a woman does not generally travel without being accompanied by a male relative. When it was time for me to consider graduate school in the U.S., my father was very supportive of me, but he was too old to accompany me. So he gave me permission to travel with my mother. She doesn’t speak English, but having her with me was very encouraging.
“At first, she was not happy with nursing. She wanted me to get married and work as a teacher. But eventually she said, ‘This is your plan, this is your life. I don’t want to block it.’ I will always be grateful to her, how she believed in me."
"I will return to Saudi Arabia after I complete my degree. I look forward to serving my people and advancing nursing care and education guided by research. There are so many challenges — so much to be done!"
I look forward to serving my people and advancing nursing care and education guided by research. There are so many challenges — so much to be done!