Sagal | A Portrait of Success in Healthcare

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Sagal is a single mother of two school-age children. Together, they make their home in south Seattle. 

In 2013, when Sagal arrived in Seattle, she sought assistance from her local welfare office where her caseworker connected her with cash assistance and told her about the Health Careers for All program.  With an interest in healthcare, Sagal enrolled and joined a training cohort at South Seattle College to prepare for and enter nursing. To put food on the table, she also began part-time work doing remote medical interpretation from home, earning $500 monthly to help support her family, and moved off cash assistance. She completed all of nursing’s pre-requisite courses with competitive marks, moving on to the next step—the licensed practical nursing (LPN) program.

Throughout the intensive LPN program, Sagal says she benefited from the support of students and her “navigator” (career counselor), and in spring 2015 she successfully completed the program. That September, after passing the national credentialing exam and earning her state license, Sagal began full-time work as an LPN in a local rehabilitation center, earning $27 an hour. Sagal’s drive to become a nurse wasn’t yet satisfied—she stayed in close contact with her navigator and enrolled in the Health Workforce for the Future program in 2016 and was accepted into the LPN-to-RN ladder program at Highline College shortly after. She graduated with her associates degree in nursing (ADN) and secured a full-time registered nurse position at $39/hour in September 2017.  Sagal plans to continue her journey, with a final career goal of becoming an advanced registered nurse practitioner (ARNP).

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A few words from Sagal:

The reasons I would like to become a registered nurse are many ... I would love to motivate others who are in the same shoes as I was some years ago. I want to make them understand that hard work pays off, and to persevere and believe. I have always been a good student and have been able to achieve the goals that I set for myself. My children look up to me as a role model, and their grades at school reflect that. I want to be an exemplary person for my children so that they too can achieve their goals.

We congratulate Sagal and the hundreds of individuals who have dedicated their lives to our healthcare while building a prosperous future for themselves and their families.

A Career in Healthcare, Fueled by Passion - Health Workforce for the Future Success Story

The Workforce Development Council of Seattle-King County is devoted to creating sustainable career pathways aligned within our Focus and Watch Sectors. Health Workforce for the Future (HWF) provides an exciting opportunity for individuals to find not just a job, but build a career within the healthcare sector. HWF is a local project of the Health Professions Opportunity Grant (HPOG) initiative of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Below we’ve highlighted the story of Josselin Maceda, who seized the opportunities available to her to join a healthcare cohort for young people in college and complete her nursing assistant training.

To learn more about Health Workforce for the Future, please visit seakingwdc.org/hwf-project.


Josselin (left) and HEY Coordinator/Advisor Jennifer Johnston (right)

Josselin (left) and HEY Coordinator/Advisor Jennifer Johnston (right)

In late spring 2016, at the end of her senior year, Josselin heard about the Health Workforce for the Future (HWF) program from her high school counselor, as part of a recruiting effort for a special cohort—Health Exploration for Youth (HEY)—at Highline College in King County, Washington.

“I was immediately motivated,” says Josselin, upon hearing about the program. “College was always a blueprint for me, but I didn’t know what to study. That’s why HEY stood out—there were a variety of options and careers I could choose from relating to the medical field. It gave me a taste of the college experience, and how to survive it.”

The cohort was designed to provide hands-on healthcare career exploration, basic academic skills development, and an orientation to college. Students learn about opportunities in the healthcare field, explore occupations to find a personal fit, and develop the necessary skills to succeed in occupational skills training.

Josselin enrolled in HEY in July 2016 and successfully completed the program in mid-August. She continued to work with her HWF Navigator into the fall quarter, when she began pre-requisite coursework required for nursing. In early 2017, Josselin enrolled in nursing assistant (NAC) training to fulfill a required nursing pre-requisite and earn a credential that will provide her access to higher wages and additional employment experience. She completed the training in March, and then turned her attention to employment and additional training.

“I was raised in poverty among my family,” says Josselin. “I always felt as if there was nothing I could do about it. Being a young, female immigrant in America is often looked down upon, but I hold my head high. I convert that negativity into inspiration, which fuels my passion.”

Transferring Nursing Experience & Planning for the Future - Health Workforce for the Future Success Story

The Workforce Development Council of Seattle-King County is devoted to creating sustainable career pathways aligned within our Focus and Watch Sectors. Health Workforce for the Future provides an exciting opportunity for individuals to find not just a job, but build a career within the healthcare sector. HWF is a local project of the Health Professions Opportunity Grant (HPOG) initiative of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Below we’ve highlighted the story of Getachew Haile, an individual who immigrated from Ethiopia and was able to transfer his existing nursing experience through collaboration between the Health Workforce for the Future and the Welcome Back Center.

To learn more about Health Workforce for the Future, please visit seakingwdc.org/hwf-project.


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Getachew Haile came to the United States in May 2015 from Ethiopia, where he had practiced as a nurse. He was referred to the Health Workforce for the Future (HWF) program in April 2016 by staff at the Puget Sound Welcome Back Center (WBC) at Highline College, who had assisted him with compiling transcripts and documents for formal credential evaluation in the U.S.

With the assistance of his HWF Navigator, Getachew enrolled in Nursing Assistant (NAC) training, which he successfully completed in May. By the end of June, he had taken and passed the NAC licensing exam, received his license to work from the state, and connected with the HWF business services rep to identify and begin applying for available jobs in the area. In July, Getachew began working as a Nursing Assistant at an Alzheimer’s and Dementia facility.

Getachew works with 20 residents on a daily basis, following their Patient Care Plan and assisting with daily living (bathing, feeding, grooming, dressing), ambulation, medication reminders, and vitals monitoring. He continues to work closely with his HWF Navigator and Welcome Back Center staff to prepare for the next step in his career. Once the credential evaluation process is complete, Getatchew will be eligible to sit for the national nursing credentialing exam (NCLEX). His HWF Navigator has assisted Getachew to enroll in an NCLEX prep course at Highline College, where the Welcome Back Center is housed. Together WBC and HWF staff are providing Getachew the guidance and assistance necessary to navigate the complex process of articulating his training and experience in Ethiopia to the U.S. workforce.

His HWF Navigator says that Getachew is very appreciative of the HWF program, in spite of the heavy lifting he is doing to prepare for his exams. His navigator frequently encourages him to take time to reward himself for his hard work.