ACE is excited to announce that Jamal Ali has been named the 2022 DAISY Award for Extraordinary Students recipient! The honor recognizes outstanding nursing students who make a difference in healthcare by demonstrating commitment to and compassion for all patients. Ali currently serves as the Director of Healthcare Services for Briarwood Home HealthCare and Interim Hospice and is enrolled in the RN to MSN program at ACE. We couldn’t wait to speak to him and learn more about his career.
ACE: Congratulations on receiving the 2022 DAISY Award for Extraordinary Nursing Students! Tell us what receiving this award means to you.
Jamal Ali (JA): Receiving this award was unexpected and humbling! In my work life, most of what I do can go unnoticed which, in administration, is a good thing – nothing is wrong, no survey citations, no complaints, no major disruptions to fix. But working as a nurse can be very tough at times. Here at ACE, my faculty and fellow students have pushed and challenged me to improve and grow beyond. Even when I earn an “A” on an assignment, I still get meaningful feedback to better my work for next time.
ACE: Can you tell us a little about your career and what led you to ACE?
JA: I have been a nurse for nine years in home health focusing on quality improvement, education and informatics. In 1999, I attended Central Michigan University to study music and education before entering nursing and graduating from Excelsior of New York. I am a nationally registered emergency medical technician and a certified ICD-10 coder. Currently, I serve on the National Association of Home Care and Hospice Palliative Care Initiative board. Being involved in advocacy and leading discussion panels/seminars is a passion of mine, but experience can only get you so far. I found ACE through a work program, and the wonderful counselors took their time to support me until I was ready to begin my next educational journey.
“To the nurses, strive to further your ambitions and the betterment of your patients. Don’t dwell on complicated situations but call yourself to action.”
ACE: What are your career aspirations upon completion of your master’s degree?
JA: Honestly, I don’t have a current plan to change jobs or careers. I want to use my education to improve function, growth, development and efforts in community-based nursing. My end goal is to do more public speaking, complete/publish research and be an activist in nursing.
ACE: Your colleagues describe you as an inspiring nurse who looks beyond surface issues that patients experience to influence lasting change. You’ve also held active and meaningful roles in home health and hospice care. Share with us what makes working in this type of care special.
JA: Home health and hospice is the core of community-based nursing. There are no machines beeping, no doctor with 10 residents, no round of professionals coming in every 15 minutes to poke and prod. It’s just the nurse, the patients and their caregivers. You get to create individualized plans and goals and make a difference in your patients’ lives through one-on-one care.
ACE: Lastly, what advice would you give a nurse or nursing student?
JA: As a student, use what you’re learning. When you write a discussion or assignment, see if there is any basis to take back to your employment. After all, you pay tuition and work to further your advancement to improve your skills as a nurse. To the nurses, strive to further your ambitions and the betterment of your patients. Don’t dwell on complicated situations but call yourself to action. Get involved in community activism, policy changes within your employment and even lobbying the government for change.