PARK CITY, Utah — If you’ve had the misfortune of being laid up at the Park City Hospital, you may have had the good fortune of being helped by Zimbabwe-born and raised Registered Nurse/Charge Nurse/Shared Leader Nkosi Mlupi, or his wife, ICU Registered Nurse, Emily.
They have two adult daughters, Michelle, a University of Utah ‘pandemic graduate,’ Alyson, who recently got her BSN from Nebraska Methodist, Omaha; and a son, Wasatch High School Freshman and basketball athlete Shami.
Nkosi and Emily met while matriculating at Hillside Teachers’ College in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe. Both were high school teachers.
They’d always dreamed of visiting the U.S. and chose to come during the Salt Lake City 2002 Winter Olympics so they could work and also hopefully see some events like the closing ceremony. “We could not find a babysitter to use the tickets we got, so I chose to stay at home and watch on TV while my wife had the rare opportunity of attending the Closing Ceremony at the Rice Eccles Stadium in Salt Lake City,” Nkosi said.
Moving from Zimbabwe to Utah back then, they already had jobs lined up after obtaining a work visa to work in the hospitality industry. Nkosi’s first job was with Blooming Property Management, followed by a seven-year stint at The Yarrow Hotel.
Soon after, a family decision was made to make another big move together, and they embarked on the adventure to relocate to Australia.
“It was a great opportunity for us and the kids to travel and explore Australia. In between work and school, we got to visit the Great Barrier Reef and other unique tourist attractions,” said Nkosi. “We were there for a short time, but the whole family was able to make friendships that have lasted to this date. As a matter of fact, we had one of our Australian friends visit us here in the USA three months ago.”
They moved back from Australia because “Utah feels like home to us. Our children loved Australia but wanted to come back.”
For the two years they spent there, Emily worked as an ICU nurse for St. John of God Hospital in Ballarat, in the state of Victoria, and Nkosi worked for the State of Victoria as a prison guard in Langi Kal Kal. They moved back to Utah in 2015, currently residing in Heber.
“Heber is a great community that is family oriented. It’s also surrounded by beautiful nature, with a wide variety of outdoor activities at your doorstep,” Nkosi said.
“Park City Hospital is not just a work place, but a place where I feel like I belong; and where my passion about great patient care is echoed by my organization’s mission and vision. Through teamwork, every day at work is an opportunity to bring healing, hope and a better quality of life to all patients.”
When they moved back to Northern Utah from Australia, they got right to work amassing educational certifications to work in the healthcare industry. Emily graduated from Salt Lake Community College with an Associate Degree in Nursing and went on to complete an RN-BSN program through the University of Utah College of Nursing and then achieved her Masters Degree in Nursing Informatics.
All the while, Nkosi was getting his LPN from the College of Eastern Utah in Price, an ADN License from Salt Lake Community College, and BSN from the University of Utah. he recently graduated with his Masters Degree in Healthcare Administration from Western Governors University.
“We are lifelong learners. We value education and have tried to instill the love of learning in our children. Growing up, our kids knew that going to college was not an option but a must,” said Nkosi.
They were avid sports/Olympics fans prior to the 2002 Salt Lake Olympics. “We had always loved to watch on TV freestyle and athletes skiing down the hills.” They share in a universal Park City experience saying, “Our whole family skis, but our kids are way better skiers than we are.” Nkosi went on to say, “Hiking is a big part of us. We do a lot of this, and there is no better place to do this than in Utah. There are so many beautiful hikes. Fall is our favorite season for hiking. We bike often as a family. In winter, we snowshoe often. We like to try new things. we have tried cross-country skiing and loved it. We also fish and kayak a lot.”
Nkosi and Emily speak three languages; English, Shona, and Ndebele. Their children mostly understand Shona and Ndebele but are somewhat reluctant to speak them since they haven’t had much practice.
Nkosi said, “People ask me if coming here was a cultural shock, and surprisingly, not as much. Well, I do remember taking pictures of random trucks because we had never seen cars so big before! But on the human level, people were personable, they are friendly and kind. That is why we have felt at home. America is very unique; anything you dream can become possible as long as you put effort to it. Opportunities are everywhere.”