Today we’re talking to our September Nurse of the Month, Emmah Barngetuny, RN. Emmah hails from Palm Beach, Florida – and before that, Kenya!
Emmah, how did you get into nursing?
I graduated from Kenyatta University with a Bachelor of Science degree in education science and food, nutrition, and dietetics. I taught in several high schools, then secured a government job as a hospital dietician.
After I relocated to the USA 18 years ago, I challenged the CNA exams and obtained a Florida license. I worked at JFK Medical Center while attending nursing school. After graduating, I became an RN at a neurosurgical unit.
Five years later I transitioned to PCU nursing and then eventually to the ER.
How did you get started with Tribal Health?
When I started travelling in 2020, my first assignment was in Oregon where I developed an interest in working with IHS facilities. I did a contract with a different agency at Eagle Butte in South Dakota – and that is where I heard very good reviews from other coworkers about Tribal Health.
What’s your favorite part of the job?
My favorite part at work is connecting with my patients and getting to know them and sharing with them my life stories in Africa. I was born and raised in a rural village in Kenya. It’s quite fascinating, talking about culture back home which is almost similar to the Tribal members.
I have found where I belong. I thrive very well in rural settings.
What would surprise people about you if they knew?
That I am number 10 out of 17 siblings! All my family members are in Africa. My first time putting on shoes was when starting high school. That was the first time also I ever slept on a bed.
When you’re not on the clock, what do you like to do?
I’m married to Nick and together we are blessed with 2 children, Ian and Ivy. Both kids attend University of Central Florida. Ian is a senior majoring in computer science; Ivy is a freshman majoring in biomedical science.
In my free time, I love being barefoot, gardening, and crotchet.
Finally, I believe acknowledging our past achievements sends a message of hope and responsibility, encouraging us to make even greater efforts in future. I choose to grow where I am and to do the right thing.
Thank you, Emmah!