Martha Ofeibea-Tenkorang ’09

MarthaOfeibeaTenkorangAspiring Nursing Professor

As a teenager, Martha Ofeibea-Tenkorang, a nursing graduate, moved with her father and sister from Ghana to Pawtucket to rejoin her mother, who had emigrated to Rhode Island 10 years previously to continue her nursing career.

While Ofeibea-Tenkorang’s mother and older sister, Joanna, are both nurses and her younger sister, Nana, is a URI pre-med student, her desire to become a nurse stems more from the time she spent caring for her elderly grandmother and from her belief that it would be a valuable subject to teach.

Throughout her URI nursing education, Ofeibea-Tenkorang held internships at Rhode Island Hospital, The Memorial Hospital, Roger Williams Medical Center, and The Miriam Hospital, while also participating in clinical rotations to learn about psychiatric nursing, maternity nursing, and general medical-surgical nursing.

Ofeibea-Tenkorang was particularly moved by the time she spent working in the Intensive Care Unit at Memorial and Miriam hospitals: “The most difficult time is when you know a patient is going to die and the family has to decide whether to let them go,” said Ofeibea-Tenkorang, who received several scholarships at URI and was inducted into the Onyx Honor Society and the Golden Key Honor Society for her academic achievements.

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Her time in the ICU also helped Ofeibea-Tenkorang decide what nursing specialty to pursue: “I shadowed a nurse-anesthetist in the OR one day and talked to him about his job. It’s a very technical job, which I thought would be a good fit for me. It requires an extra two years of training, but first I need to gain some experience in the ICU before going back to school.”

After becoming a nurse-anesthetist, Ofeibea-Tenkorang hopes to become a nursing professor, first here in the United States and perhaps eventually in Ghana: “Ever since I was a little girl, I’ve always wanted to become a teacher,” she said. “Maybe someday I’ll go back to Ghana to teach nursing there.”

—Todd McLeish