2020 is the Year of the Nurse and The Ismaili USA is featuring several nurses during the year to celebrate their contributions to their communities.


Yasmin Ali
Yasmin Ali

She is a nurse, mother of four children, and Dean of Renton College in Washington. Yasmin Ali moved from Karachi and worked as a traveling nurse for years before settling in Washington. Her father was diagnosed with cancer when she was young, and she was inspired to become a nurse when she saw how well the nurses took care of him and supported him through his treatment. She attended a four-year nursing program at the Aga Khan University in Karachi and graduated in 2003. Hazar Imam being present at her graduation made it even more special to her.

After graduation, Yasmin and her husband moved to Houston, where she was able to take her Board exams and start work. As a critical care travel nurse, she went to California and other states where she experienced caring for a wide variety of ill people. This gave her insight into how different regions’ populations suffered from chronic diseases such as heart disease and obesity.

While on assignment in San Francisco, Yasmin had her first child, and if that was not enough work, she decided to get her Master’s in Nursing, where she specialized in nursing education. Finally, now with two small children, she decided to settle down and took a permanent role in Washington to become a nursing supervisor teaching nursing students.

After becoming a tenured nurse faculty member, in 2013, Yasmin went back to school and worked to get her Doctorate in Nursing Practice. With the support of her husband to help take care of their four children, she finished her dissertation, and in October 2019, was appointed Dean of Nursing at Renton College in Washington. Her goal as Dean is to create a healthy environment at the college so that she can support and encourage all the new faculty to find their strengths and share their knowledge.

Yasmin has improved the College’s Registered Nursing Program with a more competitive admission policy, hired new faculty, and strengthened the curriculum to prepare students for their licensing exams. All the students passed the last exam.

Yasmin has served other communities as well. In 2017, she traveled to Dar-es-Salaam for three weeks for her Time and Knowledge commitment during Golden Jubilee, where she taught Intensive Care Unit nurses at the Aga Khan Hospital.

While having achieved so much, Yasmin truly has a passion for education. She says her motivation is really seeing how teaching nurses can impact so many lives, including the patients, their families, and the nurses themselves. “I love teaching,” she said “As a nurse, I could make a difference to five people on my floor or one patient in the ICU. When I teach, I have 25 people and they go out and make a difference to thousands of people. I am reaching out to the community.” While she does not teach at Renton, she stays close to her passion by teaching at the University of Washington twice a week.

Yasmin encourages her nursing students to look beyond the paycheck and recognize that the profession involves a lot of compassion as well, and one can burn out if pay is the only motivator. Perseverance, patience, and faith are needed to succeed in this profession. And she serves as an incredible example and role model for future nurses everywhere.