These Nursing Alumnae Created a “LifeLine” for Aspiring Medical Professionals
A pair of nursing graduates are turning to the power of social media to share their medical journeys and mentor future health care professionals.
Ricki Boateng ‘21 and Priscilla Adenugba ‘21 are the creators behind LifeLine, a social media account aimed at offering guidance and day-to-day insight for aspiring medical professionals. The former classmates launched the platform in their final year at Widener to shine a light on the often hard-to-navigate path to medicine, particularly for minorities.
“We thought that as Black students in a nursing program we’d be able to represent students of color who are considering going into health care and let them know that people like them can be successful,” said Adenugba, who is now a nurse at Penn Medicine.
That representation, Boateng explained, is critical for young people from underrepresented communities entering the workplace, many of whom often lack access to meaningful mentorships.
“We wanted to be that model for someone out there thinking about these careers or thinking that they’re not good enough and seeing that other people their age, their skin color, their background are able to do these things,” said Boateng.
Through a series of YouTube videos and Instagram posts (@yourlifelines_), Adenugba and Boateng document their journeys into the medical community and cover a range of topics from study tips and NCLEX exam preparation, to enrolling in graduate school and workplace orientation.
The guidance communicated through their channels reflects the transformational support they received while in Widener’s nursing program. For Boateng, who is enrolled in a postbaccalaureate pre-professional program, nurse faculty and clinical instructors were instrumental in helping her identify a path to medical school.
“My drive started with my clinical professor getting me into different practice areas,” said Boateng. “Through those experiences it showed me that I wanted to go into a specialty such as surgery or be able to consult patients.”
Boateng also credits one-on-one guidance and support from School of Nursing faculty like Associate Dean Rose Rossi for pushing her to build on her nursing degree and pursue a doctor of medicine program. Rossi, who holds an MBA in addition to a nursing doctorate, impressed upon Boateng and other nursing students to have big career goals and pursue each one.
“She’s been my number one supporter in the whole process,” said Boateng. “She has helped me to be motivated by my dream and helped me not to feel like I’m out of place.”
Since its launch, LifeLine has cultivated a broad audience attracting followers from different backgrounds and locations well beyond the Widener network. Students from across the country have turned to the duo in search of advice and guidance.
“On our YouTube page we’ve definitely seen more variation in diversity of who we reach between people who are older, younger, various genders all at different stages of their lives,” said Adenugba.
Mentoring others isn’t new for either Boateng or Adenugba. During their undergraduate careers, they both were active on campus and involved in a number of extracurricular and scholarship programs such as C.R.E.W., Bonner Leaders program, and Resident Assistants.
According to Adenugba, Widener’s commitment to community engagement underscored her innate drive to give back and serve others.
“When I got to Widener I was given more opportunities to get involved and from there it was a snowball effect,” Adenugba said.
Boateng agreed, adding that finding ways to help others around her, either through medicine or mentoring the next generation, is a practice she’ll carry with her for good.
“At Widener you’re always told to leave your mark,” said Boateng. “Doing all of these initiatives and being a leader has always been important to me, but all of these experiences give you that thrill of having a more meaningful life than going through it by yourself.”