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Profile: Bipana Gurung furthers her studies at Washburn

Bipana Gurung is a nursing graduate from Nepal. Gurung decided to further her education by studying abroad here at Washburn. (courtesy of Bipana Gurung)

As she thought about moving nearly 8,000 miles to Topeka, Bipana Gurung — a native of Nepal — profoundly considered the challenges of getting used to a new country, a new curriculum and a foreign language. A nursing graduate from Manmohan Memorial Institute of Health Sciences in Kathmandu, Nepal, Gurung decided to take the next step and further her career abroad at Washburn University.

Gurung confidently smirked as she recalled that she had many options, including going to Australia.

“But the USA just captivates me and so I applied at Washburn University,” Gurung said.

‘If I begin something, I’m inclined to finish it entirely and gracefully’

Gurung already has more education than anyone else in her family, she said, adding that she feels particularly motivated by her father, who was deprived of studying.

Today, she said, her father is educating rural children in their family home.

It was at Kathmandu that Gurung’s passion for nursing began, she said.

“I appreciate learning about the pathology of diseases for the purpose of care and treatment,” Gurung said. “If I begin something, I’m inclined to finish it entirely and gracefully. I want to establish a solid name in the nursing profession and advance as far as I can.”

Odds seemed stacked

Gurung traveled here from Nepal with six of her friends, three of whom were accepted into Washburn, she said. The odds seemed stacked against the group, as Gurung said they had to be approved for a visa and meet with an interviewer, who had final say as to whether they would be approved to travel. But they succeeded.

Gurung was one of the people who did “pretty much everything” regarding the group’s travel and accommodations, including landing members at the apartment where they are staying, said group member Anjali Gurung Tamang.

Another group member, Smriti Tamang, said of Gurung: “I have observed that she is hardworking, dedicated, self-motivated, well-organized and a responsible person. She is so determined to reach her goal that she does a lot of research on things even if it is not helpful for her.”

Gurung said her friends have definitely played a significant role in changing her perspective, as “seeing them enjoying their time at college has made me realize that college is about more than just academics.”

A message for her brother

Gurung began her nursing career at Washburn by receiving a warm welcome from the staff at Washburn Student Health Services, where she is a paid employee.

“It feels nice that they care for us,” Gurung said.

The environment at the clinic gave Gurung room to blossom comfortably, she said.

“I got to easily blend with them, so I got the chance to open up and because of that environment I’m working very good with them and I feel very comfortable,” Gurung said.

She said she’s interested in being a travel nurse, going to grad school for research and eventually running her own health clinics.

As she comes to the end of her first semester as an Ichabod, Gurung had a message for her eight-year-old brother at home.

“Do good in your studies,” Gurung said. “Maintain your grades.”

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