Ahmad Rayani

Degree: Ph.D. in Nursing

College: Nicole Wertheim College of Nursing & Health Sciences

Ahmad Rayani knew he wanted to be a nurse before graduating middle school in his native Saudi Arabia. He found his calling while he accompanied his aunt during dialysis treatments and saw how the nurses cared for patients.

With an associate’s nursing degree, Ahmad worked in the same dialysis unit where his aunt received treatment. There, he witnessed patients suffering from the disabling effects of diabetes, which is on the rise in his country. He realized how little patients knew about self-managing their conditions, which worsened their cases. He wanted to change that and knew the only way to do so was by expanding his education.

Ahmad came to the United States in 2013, learned English in a year, obtained his master’s nursing degree, and came to FIU in 2017 to pursue a Ph.D. in Nursing. Alongside research mentors who immersed him in the program, Ahmad implemented a texting intervention for Saudi Arabian diabetics, a technology not readily available there, which improved health outcomes and lowered health care costs for patients in the study.

Despite uprooting his family and facing restrictions on his study due to COVID-19, Ahmad says he triumphed at FIU because he had the support of his professors and the university community.

After graduation, Ahmad, with his family, will return to Saudi Arabia, where he will start a new chapter as a nursing professor at King Saud University.

Lexi Lopez
Nicole Wertheim College of Nursing & Health Sciences