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Iqra Aftab first dreamed of becoming a nurse when, as a young girl, she watched an older cousin pursue a career in nursing.

“Hearing all her interesting stories from nursing school, I couldn’t wait to follow in her footsteps,” says Aftab, who graduated from Dallas Nursing Institute in 2016 with an Associate Degree in Nursing and now works as a registered nurse at Garland Nursing and Rehabilitation in Dallas. “Watching her made me realize that caring for others was my true calling. It’s an amazing honor.”

When researching nursing schools to start her own path, Aftab chose DNI because of its accelerated program and the opportunity to receive hands-on training right away.

Specifically, Aftab credits the simulation labs for giving her the confidence she needed to step into her first nursing job with no fear. “I really enjoyed the incorporation of the skills lab at DNI,” she says. “It really makes you feel like you are taking care of an actual patient and not just pretending. It definitely takes some of the anxiety away.”
While the accelerated program is rigorous and has a high standard for excellence, Aftab says, she credits the DNI faculty for helping her stay focused on success.

“There were a few instructors who really stood out to me and showed they truly cared. Whenever I would doubt myself, they always reminded me of my purpose in pursuing nursing,” she explains. “They never let me give up.”

Aftab says that while DNI gave her the skills needed to succeed as a nurse, her purpose for being a nurse was cemented in childhood. Originally from Pakistan, Aftab moved to Texas with her family in 1995 and has lived her whole life surrounded by a large extended family of aunts, uncles, and cousins.

“Growing up in a happy, caring family taught me the power of care and compassion,” she says. “Now, thanks to the skills gained at DNI, I get to give care, compassion, and joy to my patients every day.”


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