Commencement 2022 profile: Miranda Ampadu
Faith plays important role during nursing student's time at Binghamton
Miranda Ampadu is a first-generation nursing graduate who is passionate about helping others and confident about her ability to overcome challenges.
“A lot of responsibility comes along with being a first-generation college student,” she said. “There is a lot that is expected of me because my family wants to see me excel. My mum did not have the chance to attend college, and she always tells me that it’s a privilege. It was important for me to make education my priority to make my family proud. Knowing that you are changing the story of your family is a big accomplishment.”
Ampadu grew up in Ghana and moved to the U.S. when she was 18. She got her GED and graduated with an associate degree from Westchester Community College before transferring to Binghamton University’s Decker College of Nursing and Health Sciences.
She found her calling to nursing at a young age.
When her grandmother became sick, the responsibility fell to Ampadu to take care of her. At 14 years old, she was in charge of feeding her, cleaning up and administering her medications as well as comforting her and supporting her through her illness.
“Being there for my grandmother really directed my focus, and I knew that I wanted to go into nursing,” she said. “I have always had this passion to care for and help other people.”
As a transfer student, the transition to the academics of Decker College was not an easy one for Ampadu. With rigorous exams and attending clinicals twice a week, it became overwhelming at times.
Ampadu’s faith played an important role during her time as a student: “Everything I have achieved here at Binghamton, from acceptance letters to scholarships and now a degree in nursing, was not by my strength, but by the grace of God. I am very grateful to him.”
Ampadu worked through college, was inducted into the National Society of Leadership and Success and became a member of the University’s African Student Organization.
“The African Student Organization really encouraged and motivated me during my time at Binghamton,” she said. “Seeing people like me come together to do something with our lives makes me feel proud.”
At the beginning of her senior year, Ampadu experienced a great loss when her father passed away. Unsure if she could continue with school, she persevered with the support of her family, friends and professors.
“[Clinical assistant professor] Lori Sprague and [lecturer] Kathleen Payne are two of my clinical instructors who have helped me a lot,” Ampadu said. “They encourage me, check up on me and push me to do more than I think I can. They are two of the few professors who really mean it when they say ‘I’m here for you.’ It makes you feel special to know that your professor really believes in you.”
Ampadu urges other students who are struggling to push forward and remember why they began their journey in the first place. Seeking support and taking the time to care for yourself are both necessary factors in being a successful student.
“Nursing has taught me so much about gratitude and being humble,” she said. “There are so many little things that we take for granted every day and there is so much to be grateful for.”
After Ampadu graduates, she will take the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN exam, necessary to become a registered nurse) and begin her career as a professional nurse. She intends on specializing in medical-surgical nursing before transitioning to geriatrics or pediatrics. She also plans to return to school for a master’s degree to become a nurse practitioner.