Talin Gulgulian Joins Bachelor of Science in Nursing Program

4 min read

Talin Gulgulian recently joined the American University of Armenia (AUA) Turpanjian College of Health Sciences (CHS) as lecturer. She is from Beirut, Lebanon and holds B.S. and M.S. degrees from the American University of Beirut (AUB) Hariri School of Nursing. She is an expert nurse leader in neonatal and children’s health with a work experience that encompasses over ten years in direct patient care and more than six years of academic teaching. In our interview with her, she reflects on her decision to join the newly-launched Bachelor of Science in Nursing program at AUA, the significance of the nursing profession, and more.

What influenced your decision to pursue a career in healthcare, particularly in nursing?

As a child, I dreamed of becoming a nurse. I always wanted to take care of people. I used to imagine that I was a nurse walking around the room where we had empty beds and taking care of my imaginary patients. I also had a role model, a relative who worked as a nurse — she was a confident, vibrant, and independent young lady. I wanted to be just like her. This is how it all started.

What brought you to AUA? 

I’ve spent most of my life in Beirut. I studied at AUB, which was like a second home to me, where I also taught before moving to Armenia to join AUA. I’ve not moved around much in my profession but over the years, I grew a strong desire to extend my knowledge and expertise to Armenia. My Armenia journey actually started a couple years ago when former AUA President Dr. Armen Der-Kiureghian visited AUB. I attended a gathering with him where he shared with a group of interested attendees his aspirations about the future of AUA. At that time, there were no tangible plans for establishing a nursing program at AUA, yet there were opportunities for collaboration between the two universities. Within that scope, I came to AUA to conduct a workshop for CHS, which was a huge success. The workshop focused on newborn care and maternity care. There were around twenty nurses participating in the workshop, all of whom were satisfied with the subject matter covered.

I believe that success sparked the notion of starting a full-fledged program that would be dedicated to preparing nurses here in Armenia for professional, rather than functional nursing. Thanks to the enormous efforts of the University and the CHS dean Dr. Varduhi Petrosyan, the nursing program is now a reality. Nursing is an integral part of the healthcare system, capable of bridging the gap between patient and health care systems, and I believe that by better empowering nurses we can make a huge difference in our communities.

What was your first impression of the University?

When I visited AUA for the first time, I thought, this is the place where I would want to come to. I had a very positive impression. Everyone was welcoming and warm, and our communication was really professional. This is also why when the nursing program was launched, I decided that I should be a part of it.

Of course, there is always room for development, especially since this is a newly-launched program. But given the level of professionalism, trust, and cooperation that we have in the College, I believe the program is going to be a success. This is an environment where one feels appreciated, which motivates one to do more.

How do you manage to interact with students? 

I like being in the classroom, wherever it is, and I enjoy communicating with students. I don’t create barriers between us. I’m very open and consider the nursing students my colleagues. We all share a common purpose and pursue a common goal — we are a team.

Currently, our students are representatives of the nursing workforce. We aspire to affect the healthcare system and gradually move on to engage the younger population that would be interested in pursuing a nursing education. This is a worthy profession. It’s one of the most satisfying and rewarding occupations.

How are you going to contribute to the mission of the program?

I see my personal contribution within three aspects: teaching, service, and research. In teaching, I’m contributing to change by molding a generation of professional nurses. As for service, I want to go beyond the walls of AUA to share my expertise with other nurses. Knowledge is power and I believe that sharing knowledge would change many things in patient care. I want to spark nurses’ interests, show them the path to learning and development, help them feel empowered, be more confident, and independently advance themselves professionally.

The ideal nurse is the one who’s empowered by the righteous and appropriate knowledge and skill set. We’re working toward creating a group of professional nurses who will be capable of making a change in the sphere. And all the members of our faculty are here to support them in realizing that important goal.

What keeps you motivated? 

What motivates me is to see change in the perception and practice of nursing. If an army is not equipped with armor, it will not be able to fight. The same requirement applies in nursing. The more competencies nurses have and the more advanced they are, the higher impact they will make. It may sound poetic, but it’s a fact. Nurses are capable of making a big difference, and I believe our program has the potential to bring about change in that sphere in Armenia.