Mercy Bashir (PMHNP 2021)
Mercy Bashir is grateful for many precious “gifts” in her life. Apart from numerous academic degrees and a thriving career, she has also enjoyed being a teacher, listening to the heartbeat of music, honoring her faith, and exploring the joys of motherhood.
Currently an Adult-Gero Nurse Practitioner in the Boston area and Assistant Professor with Salem State School of Nursing, Bashir completed the PMHNP certificate through the UNH Online program in 2021. She previously earned MSN and DNP degrees from the University of Massachusetts Lowell and a bachelor’s degree from Salem State University.
A Kenyan immigrant, Bashir embarked over twenty years ago on a discovery to unfold her dreams. She served in the MA National Guard to help with disaster relief but, when her unit was called to supplement military activities, she trained in Iraq to serve as a combat medic, sparking a lifelong interest in the medical field. Throughout her enlistment, first in the Army National Guard and then in the Air Force Reserves, Mercy pursued her nursing career. Despite a long list of accomplishments, however, Bashir felt something critical was missing from her patient care so, intent on broadening her nursing skills, she enrolled in the UNH Online PMHNP program.
"While medical problems are relatively easy to quantify, psychiatric conditions are invisible so it takes time and patience to understand them. Patients struggling with deep mental health issues suffer the psychiatric equivalent of a medical patient in an intensive care unit. They cannot wait months for a scheduled opening so I try to fill that care gap where possible until they have access to specialized mental health services."
When the pandemic introduced a new layer of stressors across all levels of society, Mercy was already managing the simultaneous roles of nurse practitioner, student, teacher, wife, and mother. To maintain a personal and professional equilibrium, she learned to carefully prioritize each day’s work and compartmentalize her focus to the task at hand. Bashir believes that her internship in a psychiatric clinic during the pandemic made her a more adept and compassionate practitioner and her heavy work-study schedule was buoyed by the support of her student cohort.
"I selected the UNH Online PMHNP program because it had great student reviews, an excellent curriculum, and 8-week courses that fit into my working schedule. Program Coordinator Sara Robinson is a terrific teacher and advisor who goes out of her way to ensure that students feel they are part of a community, of something larger than themselves. I recommend this program to my colleagues knowing they will benefit not only from the quality courses and faculty commitment but also from the networking and relationship-building experience."
Concurrently a student in the UNH Online PMHNP program and a part-time teacher at Salem State University when the public health crisis initiated a move from on-campus to online delivery, Bashir’s distance learning experience provided excellent preparation in creating online lessons for her own students. Using time management and goal-setting skills well-honed from military service, her disciplined approach successfully navigated competing for demands on her time. With extensive expertise in the field, Mercy dreams of establishing her own practice to offer a suite of services to encompass integrated psychiatric care.
In addition to her professional successes, the gifts that create the balance for a rewarding life emerge when Mercy describes the satisfaction of rambling hikes, singing in church, and – most importantly – raising her young daughter with her husband.
"Life is great and precious. It is a gift. This belief is the theme of my life and my work."
Written by Gwendolyn Goguelet