Profile of the Month
Taiwo Adeniji, RN-BC, MSN
Nurse Manager, Medical/Surgical Rehabilitation Unit
Jacobi Medical Center
What She Loves About the Job
As Head Nurse of a 24-bed rehabilitation unit, I supervise a staff of 30 and like to focus on the “total nurse,” not only by respecting and supporting my nurses in day-to-day work, but supporting them in their professional growth. For leaders to be good mentors, they must give others an opportunity to lead. This is something I strive for with the nurses on my team.
Inspired To Become A Nurse
I grew up in a big city in Nigeria, Abeokuta, Ogun State. I went to a Baptist high school managed by U.S. missionaries, and every Sunday we were taken to a leper colony where we provided fruit, water, pain medications and medical care. Watching the missionaries provide free medical care to these patients really inspired me to become a nurse.
Education and Training
After moving to New York in 1989, I attended Bronx Community College for my associate degree in nursing and started working at Jacobi in 1992. With the support of other nurse supervisors, I continued my education at Lehman College for my Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing and Hunter College for my Master’s of Science in Nursing, Nurse Practitioner.
Most Memorable Patient Story
I’ll never forget a quadriplegic man with a spinal-cord injury who received rehab services at Jacobi in 2011. He had been stabbed in his cervical spine by his grandson who suffered from mental illness. When he was admitted, he was completely dependent on the assistance of the nursing staff. He always had a positive attitude and was very motivated to work toward recovery. After a lot of rehab care, he was able to walk again. In November, he was a guest speaker at one of the Support Group Meetings, walking with a cane. He’s an inspiration to me and to other patients and staff.
Goal for the Future
I want to support other nurses to advance their education. Many nurses in my team have already obtained their BA, Master’s degrees and other certifications. My goal is to help all the nurses in my unit to receive their Certification in Rehabilitation Medicine within the next two years.
Passion for Volunteering
As a member of the Nigerian Nurses Association of USA, I participate in health fairs around the city to help our new immigrants. But I also give of my time and skills as part of a two-week medical mission to Nigeria. We started with a small group and now have 47 nurses, 25 physicians and 3 pharmacists and one dentist who volunteer their services. We also collect supplies and medication. At the Palace of the King we cared for 2,500 to 3,000 patients per day. My favorite part is the opportunity to see the smiles from the men and women that have benefited from my efforts and hear how their lives have positively changed because of it.
Secret for Having Happy Staff
I believe it’s important to make sure the staff is happy, so I like to provide food and snacks for everyone. This has led to my unit being called the “Food Court” because there is always plenty of food available for everyone to enjoy.