People of Georgian: Nursing student’s career journey driven by desire to help others
October 01, 2021

What’s your story?

Our Georgian College community is full of unique, inspiring perspectives, and we’re sharing different ones each week.

People of Georgian: Meet Nina Shirin Sheikh

I have travelled all my life. Right from my childhood, I was born in a different country, and I lived in many different countries because my parents had to travel a lot because of their jobs.

I have seen so many different cultures.

But one thing that has remained the same is I’ve always been driven to help other people.

Seven people wearing blue nursing scribs and face masks stand in a row against a wall with their arms crossed. A sign reads: The Weber Foundation Learning Commons.
Nina, third from right, was on the cover of the spring 2021 edition of GeorgianView magazine, alongside some of her Practical Nursing peers.

My mom is a nurse in England, which is where I’m from. I started working in social care when I was 23 years old.

My mentor, Margaret Murray, got me into it. I was a fresh graduate at that time. She was really the mentor behind where I am today.

I started working with people who had mental health illnesses.

Eventually, I moved from England to Canada, where I got a job as the director of a program helping people over age 21 who have mental health illnesses and special needs.

After eight or nine years, I needed a break; I was so tired of doing the same thing over and over again.

A person with brown hair pulled back, navy blue shirt and face mask, looks at the camera while holding a blue rose.
Nina holds a rose a patient gave to her on her last day at a placement.

That’s when I went back to school, and I became a driving instructor on the road as well as in the classroom.

That was another beautiful platform because when I started teaching, I got to connect with all the teenagers there, including some with different abilities who needed extra support.

‘It’s never too late’

Then, when the COVID-19 pandemic started, I noticed how badly parents who have children with special needs were struggling, and I wanted to do something.

At that point, I was so ready to get back into my original profession, and contribute.

That message felt so strongly in my heart. I needed to go back to my profession and do this. A nurse was always inside me. 

Nina Shirin Sheikh, Practical Nursing student at Georgian

That’s when I started at my Practical Nursing program.

I made the best decision. I love Georgian, I love all my teachers, I love my peers.

Many people said, “At age 42 you’re really going to school?” Age is just a number; it’s how you feel.

If I can do something to contribute toward something good for someone then why not? It’s never too late.

Nina Shirin Sheikh, student in Georgian’s Practical Nursing program.