Joseph Gracy Amalraj, MSN, RN, CNE, serves as Clinical Assistant Professor at the Oklahoma City University’s Kramer School of Nursing for the traditional undergraduate program.

story by Van Mitchell, Staff Writer

Teaching is both a profession and a passion for Joseph Gracy Amalraj, MSN, RN, CNE, who serves as Clinical Assistant Professor at the Oklahoma City University’s Kramer School of Nursing for the traditional undergraduate program.
Her clinical practice area includes Pediatric ICU and Medical-surgical units. She is also a certified Midwife in India.
She has been a nursing educator since 2012, teaching in both didactic and clinical settings for traditional undergraduate BSN students.
“I always wanted to be an educator, and both my parents were teachers,” she said. “But I have had great role models, too. Dr. Lois Salmeron, EDD, RN, BSN, MAT, MS, CNE, ANEF, is one of them. She’s our Dean Emeritus. Her leadership style really motivated me. I believe not everyone is a born leader or educator. The more we learn, the more we experience, the more we allow ourselves to be inspired makes us a great leader. I am who I am today because I allowed these great leaders to inspire me.”
Joseph Gracy goes by her second name of Gracy.
“Revealing the sex of the fetus is illegal in India to prevent selective abortion of female fetuses,” she said. “My parents prayed to Saint Joseph, that if I’m a boy, they would name me Joseph. And then I ended up being a girl, but they still named me Joseph.”
Gracy is currently pursuing her PhD in Nursing at OCU.
“I wanted to do something more,” she said. “My goal at that time was not just to achieve a terminal degree, but to grow personally and professionally. I have loved every course I have taken, and this program has prepared me to be a better educator and a leader”
Gracy credits her husband Regin with his support of her pursuing her PhD.
“Regin is a great support with all my endeavors,” she said. “He is always there. He was the one who initially started motivating me to pursue my PhD.”
Gracy started her nursing career in India, working in a pediatric ICU before deciding to come to the United States.
“I had this urge to move forward to become an educator,” she said. “At the same time, in India, nursing did not receive the respect it deserved. The nursing profession was often looked down upon. That gave me an uneasy feeling that I didn’t know whether I wanted to work in a place where my work was not appreciated.”
Gracy talked with her sister Mercy who is an RN in Ardmore about her situation.
“I used to talk about this with my sister, and she shared how nursing is the most trusted profession in the United States,” she said. “That really intrigued my interest and that’s why I moved from India to the United States.”
Gracy began the process of finding a school in the U.S. to attend.
“I took my NCLEX exam, I took my English exam, I did all the groundwork I needed to do, and then I applied for several universities in the United States,” she said. “OCU really stood out because they were quick to respond to my application and I arrived at OCU in less than 3 months.”
Gracy earned her BSN from Meenakshi College of Nursing, India in 2007 before earning MSN in Education from OCU in 2011.
She arrived at OCU on a tight budget.
“I couldn’t afford on-campus housing,” she said. “I did an on-campus job. I made about $400 a month in 2011. I shared a single bedroom apartment with my friends. I lived off with very minimal money. But I felt so supported by the KSN community both emotionally and financially. That’s what kept me at KSN.”
After graduating from KSN in December 2011, Gracy had to figure out her next move.
“At that time, I was already practicing as an RN at OU Children’s Medical Surgical floor. As per Dr. Salmeron’s recommendation I applied for an open position as a clinical instructor at KSN,” she said. “When I was hired and was welcomed once again to this KSN community it felt really good.”
Gracy recently took up the role of Student Success Coordinator at KSN.
“I just took up this role of the Student Success Coordinator,” she said. “Most of the people who seek support are minority students and international students. I meet with all the students during orientation. I get to know them. I equip them with the basic tools like time management skills, study strategies, note-taking skills, and other needed skills to be successful in a nursing program. My educational preparation and personal experiences as an international student allow me to guide my students more effectively and offer them the unique support they need to succeed”
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