Zakiya Harris reflects on her path to earning a spot in the top five percent of her nursing class at Alcorn

Zakiya Harris has always been considerate of the needs and well being of others. During her high school years, she was afforded the opportunity to dive into the world of medicine when she participated in a two year allied health program and an allied health summer residency program. The experience brought about an epiphany for her.

“After completing the program, I realized that I wanted to major in nursing because I have always enjoyed being of service to others,” said Zakiya, a Rosedale, Mississippi native. “I decided that nursing was a career that I wanted to explore because it would give me the opportunity to work with people and care for them.”

Her experiences with the programs led her to set out on a path to graduate from Alcorn State University’s School of Nursing program. Upon arrival, she knew that the road would not be easy. She quickly realized that in order to be a good student and earn a degree, she had to make some changes to her daily routine.

“I had to learn discipline and evaluate the importance of the degree I was seeking. When I began the program, it was a rocky start for me because I no longer had the chance to enjoy the college life like I wanted to. I also had to sacrifice time with my family and friends because I had to spend that time studying.

I realized that I needed to make some adjustments if I was going to complete the program. Nursing requires an enormous amount of time, so I had to properly manage my time.”

Once Zakiya adjusted to life as a nursing student, things started to take off for her. Despite the long nights of studying and the long days in clinical, she still sees the beauty in being in the position to help others.

“I enjoy nursing because it is a profession that never stops giving. I have enjoyed learning new things and ways in which I can help others and contribute to making a difference. During these last two years, I have learned new things every day, and the opportunity for growth is unlimited.”

All of Zakiya’s time and effort into being an exceptional nurse will pay off when she receives her bachelor’s degree in nursing during Saturday’s Commencement Exercise. The best part for her is that she is in the top five percent of her graduating nursing class.

“It is a wonderful feeling to be in the top five percent of my class because I have worked extremely hard throughout the last two years. The feeling is one that is unexplainable. I did not let the overwhelming challenges deter me because I was determined to be successful.”

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