Faculty Profile - Interview with Majeda El-Banna, Director, Nursing Advancement
Himmelfarb Library continues this feature in our newsletter that lets us become better acquainted with our friends and colleagues at the George Washington University. In this issue we learn more about Majeda El-Banna, Director, Nursing Advancement.
Tell us a little bit about yourself and why you decided to pursue nursing?
I am an Assistant Professor and Director of Nursing Advancement (Registered Nurses to Bachelor of Science in Nursing/Master of Science in Nursing) Program at the GW School of Nursing. I received my Bachelor of Science in Nursing and Master of Science in Nursing with a focus on Medical-Surgical Nursing Education degree from the University of Jordan, and my PhD from the University of Nebraska Medical Center. My professional nursing experience includes practice in many roles of increasing leadership and responsibility including: registered nurse, clinical instructor, faculty, department head, school of nursing dean, and program director in three countries. I became interested in nursing to make a difference in people's lives and bring them hope. Additionally, I have a strong desire to help people and care for them in times of need.
What brought you to GW?
I came back to the US when my husband received a job offer in Washington, DC. I was looking for a faculty position in the Virginia/Washington DC area. I found that the GW mission, vision, and values are aligned very well with my mission. In addition to that, GW and the School of Nursing are known for the high academic standards and ranked among the best nationally. When I started as an adjunct faculty member at GW, I recognized that GW is the best place to work.
What has been your biggest professional challenge?
The professional challenges I have faced in the last two decades were related to moving between three countries multiple times. Most of it has been enjoyable and a learning opportunity, but I felt that every time I moved, I was starting my career all over again. Moving also requires making new connections in the workplace, and in professional and volunteer organizations. It was challenging to focus on the new jobs while dealing with all of the logistics of the move, which sometimes took double the time to make it all work.
What has been your most memorable moment at GW?
My most memorable moment at GW occurred in May of this year, during the School of Nursing faculty and staff luncheon, when the dean announced that I received the School of Nursing Excellence in Graduate Teaching Award. I felt that all my hard work paid off.
What library resources or services have you found to be the most useful?
The librarians are extremely helpful, knowledgeable, and quick in replying to requests. I have consulted Ruth Bueter regarding journals and publications multiple times. Elaine Sullo has helped me to search for literature for a few research projects when it was difficult to find articles. In addition, I have had embedded librarians in my courses who played a vital role in guiding students to find resources to complete their assignments. Besides that, I can use many databases to search for literature, and get any article I need in a very short period of time or sometimes on the same day through interlibrary loan.
Whom do you admire?
My admiration goes towards my supportive and considerate mother. Her generosity still impresses me today; she always has plenty to give and I learned a lot from her such as integrity and perseverance. Without a doubt, I would not be where I am without her.
How do you spend your free time? (or What do you do to relax?)
I enjoy travelling, shopping, and watching TV. I pick up one of those activities based on how much free time I have. Incorporating any of these activities recharges me to have more energy to do my work.
What advice would you give to a new faculty member just starting at GW?
I would recommend that new faculty at GW start with the mindset that GW is the best place to work which offers vast opportunities. There are many learning opportunities by serving on committees at the school and university levels and attending teaching and research training workshops for faculty. A key to success is to know people not only in your school, but also to collaborate with faculty from other schools and the community.