Climbing the nursing career ladder — with heart, compassion and determination

A hard-working nurse reflects on his challenging path to career success – and the coach who helped him get there

Career advancement is core to InsideTrack’s mission to fuel social mobility, as we leverage the transformative power of coaching to help learners advance and thrive in their chosen career paths. Ryan Casim, a registered nurse, is a great example of this principle in action. That’s why, in recognition of the challenges he’s overcome  — and in special celebration of National Nurses Week — we’re honored to share how Ryan worked with his InsideTrack coach to take concrete steps forward to excel in his career as a nurse.

When Ryan was working as a pharmacy tech, he knew he wanted to take the next step in his career and pursue his passion of becoming a nurse. As a union employee at Kaiser Permanente, Ryan was able to tap into the Ben Hudnall Memorial Trust, an alliance between Kaiser Permanente and the Coalition, to use the available continuing education and skills development benefits to go to nursing school. Along with that benefit came the ability to connect to and work with a coach from InsideTrack. 

Partnering for success

When Emilia Gilroy-Sander, a long-time InsideTrack Coach, first began working with Ryan in 2019, he was pursuing his associate degree in nursing. Having to hold down a full-time job while also attending school full-time was only one of the challenges that they would tackle together along the way. Ryan’s journey was not an easy one. There were setbacks, struggles, and a high degree of stress, which almost led an overburdened Ryan to drop out of the program. 

But the story didn’t end there, as Ryan was able to earn his associate degree, a huge (and proud) accomplishment. Ryan and Emilia’s partnership is a powerful example of how coaching can truly impact career attainment. It demonstrates how having someone in your corner to regularly check in and help you work through challenges can be the difference between career stagnation and career advancement. For Ryan and Emilia, failure was not an option.

“I believe that hard work will lead to success, and I feel like I accomplished that with the help of my mother and my coach. And I believe that I’m on the right path on my educational journey.” — Ryan Casim, Registered Nurse

Finishing a degree, launching a career

With his associate degree in nursing complete, Ryan set his sights on his next professional goal, enrolling in a one-year online program to earn his Bachelor of Science in Nursing — the next step in moving his career forward. Once again, Ryan had the support of his coach, Emilia, who helped him build motivation, set achievable milestones and goals, work through obstacles and challenges, and develop time-management strategies to maximize his packed schedule. A diligent, committed student, Ryan graduated summa cum laude from his RN-BSN program at Colorado Technical University and was inducted into Sigma Beta Tau, the honor society of nursing. And, as Emilia likes to point out, he achieved an impressive 4.0 grade point average while working not one, but two jobs. 

Shortly after graduation, Ryan was selected – out of 400 applicants – for one of only four “new graduate” RN positions with Kaiser Permanente. Talking about it, Ryan seems like he still can’t believe his luck. But Coach Emilia knows it wasn’t luck that got him there: “So much went into this step… I was not surprised because Ryan is so incredible.” While every learner comes with their own set of career goals and aspirations, Ryan’s journey shows the true value of one-on-one coaching to set workers up for success in their chosen path.

Celebrating the caregivers

As we celebrate Nurses Week, we send out a grateful thank you to all the nurses out there in their many and varied roles. Through your hard work and dedication, you have used education as a springboard to a career path that makes our communities stronger.  As critical workers who perform the most essential – and sometimes the most difficult or most heartbreaking – healthcare tasks in the medical profession, nurses are the first point of contact for most patients. For everything you do, often under the most challenging of circumstances, we say thank you.

Want to know how Ryan’s story began? Watch his first video!


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