Academics People and Community

Nursing makes graduate feel empowered and connected to his mom

Sammy Kumar transformed his childhood loss into his life’s mission and is heading to the National Children’s Hospital for work.
Sammy Kumar
Photo courtesy of Sammy Kumar

During his four years at the University of Miami School of Nursing and Health Studies, Sammy Kumar has demonstrated academic and clinical excellence, made lifelong friends, helped organize a virtual exchange between nursing students in Miami and Japan, and even led an a cappella singing group (he’s a baritone). 

As a senior, he also served as president of the University’s chapter of the National Student Nurses’ Association. Kumar, who has earned a Bachelor of Science in Nursing with a minor in public health, reflects on how he has found light in tragedy, what drew him from Calabasas to Coral Gables, and where he’s headed post-commencement. 

What inspired you to be a nurse? My mom passed away from cancer when I was 11. Her nurses were amazing and were the piece of her treatment that really had the power to light up the situation. Specifically, I was inspired to become an oncology nurse, and it is a part of my life I would like to dedicate to my mom. Working in nursing has made me feel empowered and connected with my mom. I’m happy to be so passionate about nursing, and I’m excited to use that passion to connect with my patients and provide the best care possible.   

Coming from California, why did you attend UM? I chose the University of Miami because I was very impressed by the facilities at the nursing school, and I knew this would be a safe place for me to grow and be myself. After my dad [Sanjay Kumar] saw the nursing school, he said that if I wanted to be a nurse, he couldn’t imagine me going to a better school than here.   

What have been highlights of your time here? I’m so happy to have been able to connect with my nursing cohort and make friends I know will be in my life forever. I’ve also been very happy seeing myself become more and more confident in the clinical setting after each rotation I’ve completed. I especially loved my last clinical rotation in the PICU [pediatric intensive care unit], where I cared for so many cute kids and really started to feel independent in my abilities to practice as a nurse.   

What are your post-grad plans? I will be moving to D.C. to be a pediatric hematology/oncology nurse at Children’s National. I have found that I really enjoy working in the children’s hospital setting. I’m super-excited to work in a field that is very special to me and have fun with the kids!