When Sam Osei ’06 came to the United States from Ghana to visit his sister, little did he realize he was embarking on a journey to a career he never dreamt possible. He became interested in nursing, helping to care for his terminally ill father. The problem was that in his native land nursing wasn’t viewed as a “suitable” profession for men.
After earning his GED in the U.S., he started taking post-graduate business classes at Housatonic Community College. During that time, he worked at a skilled nursing facility, where he soon came to realize that nursing was his true passion. That ultimately led him to Gateway.
“Gateway was great,” Osei said. “They want to help you succeed. They spent time with me, and they cared about what I really wanted to do.” Sam graduated from Gateway’s nursing program in 2006 and became a registered nurse at Gaylord Hospital, where he now serves as the evening team leader on the spinal cord unit. Within two short years, his dedication and professionalism resulted in him receiving a Nightingale Award, the state’s highest nursing recognition. He went on to earn a bachelor’s degree in nursing at Charter Oak State College.
“Gateway was great. They want to help you succeed They spent time with me, and they cared about what I really wanted to do.”Sam Osei
Osei works as a part-time outreach coordinator for Gateway’s nursing program, helping strengthen nursing career pathways by reaching out to local high schools and recruiting prospective nursing students to Gateway. He initiated and led “Gateway’s Men Embrace Nursing” Initiative, and is a member of Gateway’s Nursing Mentoring Program, the goal of which is to match graduates with enrolled nursing students to help ensure their academic success. He also wrote the “Men in Nursing at GCC” section of the College’s website and has appeared on local TV shows, where he promotes nursing careers for males. Finally, he has returned to Ghana several times, donating textbooks to a nursing school there. His outreach efforts were recognized by the Gateway Community College Foundation, which named him a Distinguished Alumnus during its 2009 Annual Hall of Fame Induction and Reception.