Collins Ogbolu is a registered nurse, founder of the Lead Nurse organization, and a seasoned public speaker. In this interview he talks about how he found his way into nursing, what nursing is outside the walls of Nigeria and why success should come before money as an entrepreneur.
FNA: Introduce your self ( your name, and educational background)
Collins Ogbolu: Collins Ndubuisi Ogbolu, RN, BNSC
FNA: What inspired you to embark on this nursing journey?
Collins Ogbolu: I was stimulated to consider a career in Nursing in a seminar I attended as a first year biochemistry student at the University of Nigeria. Nursing was mentioned as a future profession that will reward people with leadership and entrepreneurial skills. According to the speaker, most nurses float at same level due to lack of capacity and the profession is yearning for resourceful personalities
He was generally encouraging the audience to explore other areas other than Medicine, Engineering etc because the future will not mind our titles, but our accomplishments. He feels that nursing, a female dominated profession, will become a gold mine for resourceful men who will develop capacity to fill in the huge gap in leadership and innovation.
FNA: What has been your greatest challenge on this journey?
Collins Ogbolu: The major challenge is that the nursing community in Africa is still recovering from many years of oppression and set back. The consequences of actions and actions that contributed to the challenges of nursing profession today still affects everything that you do in the healthcare industry. However, this is why I am here, to be part of the group that will inspire change from status quo and we have made tremendous progress.
FNA: Lead nurse is an organization, I am not quite sure every nurse out there knows what it is all about. Please share what lead nurse is all about?
Collins Ogbolu: LeadNurse Africa stands for increasing access to quality, affordable and sustainable healthcare services, as well as health care system strengthening and human capacity development.
FNA: What motivated you to establish such organization?
Collins Ogbolu: Every dream requires a platform to come alive Upon my graduation, their was no such platform, so I teamed up with other stakeholders from different parts of world to set LeadNurse Africa.
FNA: As a nurse who has flair for educating nurses, do you have any ambition in lecturing.
Collins Ogbolu: I’m already lecturing. I think we have to be flexible a little bit once you have passion for teaching, all you need to do is teach where your target audience needs you most. Currently, I am focusing on training the trainers. We have new programs targeting students and young nurses too which will be basically an information technology driven initiative as it has E-learning platform. I have several interest in the healthcare industry, so it will be difficult to pin me down in one school.
FNA: A lot of young nurses still believe they made a mistake embarking on this nursing journey due to the challenges the profession face here in Nigeria, what would you say to this?
Collins Ogbolu: So many factors have contributed to this due to the fact that no profession is generally doing well in Nigeria. We are all victims of poor leadership.
However, many got into nursing with exaggerated expectations about what THEY CAN GET. However the opportunities and accomplishments they seek are hidden inside WHAT THEY CAN OFFER. Innovative nurses are thriving in the healthcare industry, so I will advise them to expand their scope and explore more.
Thankfully, LeadNurse Africa has just developed an online platform (LEADNURSE.AFRICA) which will engage nurses in life long learning, coaching and counseling in order to give them access to great opportunities from around the world and help them unlearn, relearn and become key stakeholders in the healthcare industry. Trust me, the future is bright as long as we can invest in our capacity and avoid the old habits of seeking for quick fix . We must learn the principles of sustainable success.
FNA: A lot of nursing organization is coming up of late, and they are all focused on educating nurses. Do you think these organizations can survive the test of time, like competition, strive? What advice would you give to a nurse who aspires to own an organization to promote nursing?
Collins Ogbolu: The challenge is so huge that a thousand organizations will be welcomed as long as they have clear vision and strategy for pursuing their vision without reinventing wheels. Those that jumped at it just to be known will be found out because when you start a project without a vision, you may not be able to pay the huge price involved in such journey.
For me it’s a sign that organization like LeadNurse Africa are doing a great job by inspiring people to take responsibilities. I’m happy that they are expressing themselves. Some will succeed, some will learn lessons and continue their career through different path. At the end of the day, it’s still a win win situation. All of them will learn one thing or the other, both those that will succeed and the ones that will fold up. Folding up doesn’t mean that such individuals have failed because the experience can help them become exceptional in other areas.
Let’s celebrate the passion, commitment and enthusiasm and encourage all of them to succeed. We are too underdeveloped to even mention competition. However, I would suggest that some of them doing exactly the same thing team up to form a single organization. LeadNurse Africa has absorbed many organizations and this is why we have grown so fast.
They must also avoid the temptation of feeling like celebrities prematurely. None has a million dollar investment yet. So please let’s focus on the purpose, as against personal glory. We can celebrate curiosity and passion now, but we haven’t achieved anything to begin to blow the trumpet of anyone. This is my personal opinion. Young nurses must remain humble and focused on their purpose. We must resist the temptation to celebrate mediocrity .
FNA: How would you compare nursing in Nigeria, and nursing in other countries?
Collins Ogbolu: Across Africa, we share a lot in common. Don’t let me talk about salaries because I won’t do that. All countries has a lot of work to do in order to establish transformational leadership and best practices.
FNA: What has been your greatest asset?
Collins Ogbolu: My God, my Mother and my circle of influence .
Our circle of influence stimulates the thoughts that forms our habits. They also form our network. A man’s habits and network forms his destiny and net worth.
FNA: You had a big event few last month? How was it?
Collins Ogbolu: It was a huge success.
FNA: As the founder of Lead Nurse, how did you get others to join your dream or vision. A lot of people, not only nurses do not have a good human relationship, hence they find it difficult to get people to work with them?
Collins Ogbolu: I really don’t find people, people are attracted to the vision. Once your vision is good enough and clear enough, right people and right resources will locate it as long as you remain consistent with your work and endure for as long as it takes you to get there.
It is a natural principle. The people you see around LeadNurse Africa found a platform where they can contribute to the vision they love. Hence they can tolerate my weakness and mistakes because it is not about Collins, but rather about a purpose they are passionate about and committed to its accomplishment. Not all of them like me as a person, but they love the vision.
Once you achieve this, you can then make deliberate effort to improve yourself as a person and leader so that they can enjoy their relationship with you and cherish their commitments to the organization.
FNA: A lot of male nurses find it difficult to work with fellow nurses and doctors, what advice would you give them?
Collins Ogbolu: I really don’t know much about that. All I can say is if you are passionate about promoting health and alleviating suffering, you should know that it will be impossible to achieve that without working successfully with colleagues and other health care professionals.
FNA: How do you spend your leisure time?
Collins Ogbolu: My work is my number one leisure. I enjoy every part of it. I also play a lot But my hubbies have one thing or the other to contribute to my work too. So it is difficult to say when I am working and when I am playing. I work every day and I play everyday. I try to be productive and enjoy each day because we cannot get it back
FNA: What is your definition of entrepreneurship?
Collins Ogbolu: It is using your creativity to make impacts and transforming your impacts into products and institutions for sustainability and expansion until you reach everyone in the world who can benefit from your impact.
FNA: What advice would you give nurses who want to embark on entrepreneurship?
Collins Ogbolu: Create a notable impact before you monetize. Don’t put money first. They must create a success first and then watch their success create wealth and honor for them.
FNA: Who is your role model?
Collins Ogbolu: Jesus Christ. He is perfect. I love perfection.
FNA: Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
Collins Ogbolu: An accomplished global leader in healthcare promotion and healthcare innovation.
FNA: Where do you see nursing in Nigeria in 5years?
Collins Ogbolu: A profession that has completely recovered from limiting believes and addiction to mediocrity .
FNA: If you have to change anything in Nigeria nursing, what will it be?
Collins Ogbolu: The negative and poor mindset of many nurses. We are all products of our thoughts. It is impossible to change your circumstances without changing your thoughts and mindset
FNA: Is there any project you are currently working on?
Collins Ogbolu: We just developed the most resourceful information technology infrastructure for E-learning, professional networking and career support. We have also opened centre for healthcare system strengthening and human capacity development with variety of causes such as infection control, Sbars, transformational leadership, ECG, NRP, PALS, ACLS, BLS etc.
FNA: Your final words.
Collins Ogbolu: A profession doesn’t make Men, it’s Men that makes a profession . Let’s think more about what we can contribute to nursing as against what nursing can give us. Opportunities are hidden on less traveled path.