Career Profiles:
Kamal Koirala, RPN

Kamal Koirala, RPN, originally from Nepal, emigrated to Canada 12 years ago to escape the political turmoil in his home country. Having worked as a lecturer, teaching multiple subjects in university, Kamal's journey to becoming a nurse in Canada was motivated by personal loss and a desire to contribute to a healthcare system that starkly contrasted with the limited resources available in Nepal.

In his homeland, Kamal experienced the devastating impact of cancer on his family, losing multiple relatives, including his grandfather, uncle, and mother. The absence of universal healthcare coverage in Nepal meant that only those with financial means could access treatment, leaving many families feeling helpless and without appropriate care for their loved ones. These profound experiences shaped Kamal’s decision to pursue nursing in Canada, where he was driven to make a meaningful impact on others’ lives.

When he arrived, Kamal embraced the opportunity to go back to school and explore a different career path. Despite facing challenges, Kamal’s determination prevailed. He obtained his practical nursing diploma from Algonquin College in 2014 and began his nursing career in home and community care where he acquired a diverse set of skills.

“Community nursing taught me so many skills,” says Kamal. “You need to be very independent in care delivery, such as inserting [peripherally inserted central catheter] PICC lines, peritoneal dialysis, IVs, wound care, [administering insulin for] diabetics, coordinating with acute care and so on. Thankfully I was provided with very extensive education and training.”

Transitioning to a long-term care (LTC) setting, Kamal continued to broaden his expertise, providing convalescent care to residents recovering from various complexities, traumas and wounds. He was able to leverage his previous teaching skills when he became a consolidation preceptor at Perley Health in Ottawa, inspiring and empowering future nurses. Kamal is passionate about encouraging new nurses to consider long-term care, emphasizing its critical role in ensuring the well-being of the ageing population in Ontario.

In his role as an educator, Kamal draws on the wisdom of nursing pioneers like Florence Nightingale, emphasizing the service-oriented nature of the profession. He instills in his students the importance of compassion and caring, asserting that these qualities are the foundation of nursing. Kamal’s sense of humor not only makes learning enjoyable but also reinforces the practical aspects of nursing, highlighting the difference between simulated scenarios and real-life patient care.

“This is a service-oriented industry,” Kamal explains. “If you are not compassionate or caring, then you are in the wrong profession. When you enter nursing, this is the bottom line: You are here to care. Money is secondary. When you bring a caring heart and compassion with you, the doors are open to learn.”

Recognized for his exemplary teaching skills, Kamal received the 2023 WeRPN Preceptor Award of Excellence in 2023. Currently pursuing his RN degree from Nipissing University through long-distance education, Kamal balances a demanding workload while maintaining a passion for nursing. Despite his relatively short time in the profession, Kamal’s dedication has already left a lasting impression.

As a nursing leader, Kamal envisions and nurtures qualities in his students that go beyond technical proficiency. He describes nursing leaders as resourceful, proactive, compassionate, confident, and continuously devoted to learning. Meanwhile, he guides his students on the path to becoming exemplary professionals.

“Nursing leaders advocate, utilize available resources to the maximum extent possible and have a positive vibe,” he adds. “They know why they’ve enrolled [to be nurses] and are extremely devoted, caring, confident and competent. These nurses are champions.”

In his own practice, Kamal goes above and beyond, occasionally sacrificing breaks to care for his residents. For him, the most rewarding aspect of nursing is witnessing a resident’s improvement, happiness and return to health. Kamal Koirala, with his caring heart and unwavering dedication, exemplifies the spirit of nursing and contributes to shaping a positive future for the profession.

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