“I never dreamed about success, I worked for it.”Estee Lauder

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Chibugo U.’s story of how she became a nurse at UPMC is one of unexpected changes, inspiring moments, and hard work. It’s also a story of talent, determination, and compassion — qualities that have helped Chibugo, a unit director for UPMC Shadyside, achieve success and become a role model here at UPMC.

Far from Home — Why Chibugo Chose to Move to America from her Home in Nigeria

Chibugo’s story began in her native country of Nigeria, nearly 6,000 miles away from Pittsburgh. When Chibugo finished high school, she was trying to decide where life would take her next. Though she was offered several nursing school scholarships and many people around her encouraged her to become a nurse, she decided she would pursue education to become a lawyer. That decision would take her away from Nigeria to America, a move that would alter the course of her story forever…and eventually bring her to UPMC!

Discovering Her Calling — Embracing a Career in Nursing

After Chibugo moved to America, she realized a theme emerging: she is a caregiver. While in the hospital shortly after delivering her second child, Chibugo was inspired by a nurse who provided her care during her stay. “Her humility, humanity, and compassion inspired me to become a nurse and hopefully to influence others the way she influenced me,” she recalled. The call to care was a strong one, one that Chibugo felt compelled to answer.

After her experience, Chibugo began working towards the future she was inspired to pursue — a future as a nurse! Chibugo’s journey to become a nurse required turning her dream into a reality through hard work, long hours, and a balancing act. Chibugo acquired all of her training to be a nurse while she raised her children at home. Once Chibugo became a nurse, she didn’t stop there — the future held more exciting changes for her!

Moving Up the Nursing Career Ladder at UPMC — A Future She Never Imagined

“As a bedside nurse, I never envisioned myself becoming a unit director,” Chibugo shared. “After completing a Master’s Degree in Nursing Administration, I eagerly accepted a position as a nurse clinician, but never gave a thought to moving on as a unit director. My unit director, Glenn Zinsmeister, mentored and encouraged me to go on and assume the role of the unit director for not one, but two units: an ICU and a step-down unit.”

Though a career in health care isn’t the future that Chibugo originally envisioned, her success is proof that this is the future she was supposed to have. “Taking advantage of the My Nursing Career Ladder afforded me an opportunity to grow and advance from a registered nurse to a clinician and unit director,” Chibugo said. “I believe the opportunity is there for me to continue to grow and advance personally, professionally, and academically.”

Discovering the Unique Rewards of Nursing

And as she does, we have a guess about what Chibugo’s future will hold: UPMC values like Caring & Listening, Excellence & Innovation, and Responsibility & Integrity. “I am always humbled each time I experience the admiration and gratitude from a community member when they find out that I am a nurse at UPMC Shadyside Hospital,” Chibugo shared. “When they tell me a story of the quality of care and compassion that they or a family member received at our facility, it gives a sense of fulfillment and gratitude that we are making great impacts in our communities.”

On behalf of UPMC Careers, we’d like to say this to Chibugo: we’re grateful for your impact and can’t wait to see where the future takes you here at UPMC!

Whether UPMC nurses are building specialty skills, gaining experience in various settings, or continuing education, a career on our team allows you ample opportunities to grow, develop, and make a difference in the fast-paced field of nursing.

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