Manal Johnston (@manalfj33)

22

In the ways that we have progressed as a community from the beginning of times, the two things that have stood out most are tolerance and acceptance. The need to acknowledge that society doesn’t need to fit into pre-conceived categories and produce an almost robotic community has been prevalent. This means that a lot of acceptance/tolerance that was previously limited to just men has also been rightfully stretched to women. Although it can’t be said that we have truly reached an equal society yet, it can be accepted that the most basic form of tolerance that should have already been rightfully attributed to women from the start has found its way to them. However, freedom from some stigmatized situations/circumstances still hasn’t been attributed to women, such as that of single mothers and divorced women. Manal Johnston is one such woman, who while living within one such stigmatized situation has made the best out of it.

Manal Johnston is a Saudi-American woman who is a single mother of a 3-year-old beautiful daughter. She resides currently in New York. Despite being a full-time mother of a toddler who requires the utmost care and protection, Manal’s career resume is impressive. She’s an RN nurse, health blogger, pianist, and self-proclaimed fashionista. Regarding her primary career, which is nursing, she has 3+ years of professional experience in dealing with high-alert medical situations and surgical wards. She has a Bachelor’s in Nursing Science which she acquired before she permanently moved to the USA from the Soliman Fakeeh College of Medical Sciences. The college is Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, where she studied for a period of 5 years from 2004 to 2009. Apart from her education, she was also active in her college extracurricular-wise; this was where she learned to play piano for the very first time.

The main struggle for Manal when she moved to the US was the language barrier. Coming from a culturally homogenous country where the predominant language used and spoken is mostly Arabic, Manal knew that the first thing she had to do was learn how to speak English. Her first two years in the US went by in her trying to perfect her English to an extent where she could at least carry out a daily conversation. It was almost 3 years after her learning English that she built her confidence up and admitted herself for a Master’s degree for her Nursing in New York.

It was this build of confidence that also ended up with her having enough faith in herself to start a health blog, all in English. Her health blog deals with the deeper technicalities of being a nurse and also touches upon how the incorporation of 21st-century work systems like technology has been affecting modern-day nursing. Apart from that, her blog also deals with nursing in emergency situations and how rotation and workflow systems help save lives. One thing that is pre-dominant in her blog posts is about leadership in nursing, which is one aspect she’s most passionate about, and how good leadership within a medical community can prove to be beneficial for both the patients’ wellbeing and the hospital workflow.

All in all, Manal is someone who is determined to be who she wants to be without letting the burden of a single mother get to her. She is versatile and has multiple skills. She has been giving her toddler the attention that she needs and while taking care of her, she’s also furthering her own career so that it doesn’t stop her from making her own place in the world. Women like Manal set a higher standard for women and men alike, to do better and be better. Her determination is the best care she can offer for her child, where her daughter grows up seeing her mother conquer her own life in such an inspiring way while also dealing with the stigma that surrounds single mothers.

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