Our Nurse of the Week is Laurie Badzek, LLM, JD,
MS, RN, FNAP, FAAN, dean of the College
of Nursing at Penn State, who has been honored with the American Nurses
Association’s (ANA) Leadership in Ethics Award. ANA created the award to
recognize registered nurses who have authentically demonstrated the highest
standards of ethics and leadership in their daily practice, served as an
ethical role model, and promoted ethical dialogue and scholarship.
career, Badzek has held the roles of nurse, attorney, researcher, and educator.
She brings experience in genomics, health care ethics and law, nursing
practice, and end-of-life care and decision-making to her work, and her
commitment to ethical leadership led her to serve as director of the American
Nurses Association Center for Ethics and Human Rights where she was
instrumental in revising the ANA Code of Ethics for Nurses.
Nick Jones, executive vice president and provost, tells news.psu.edu, “In 2018, we selected Laurie to be dean of Penn State’s College of Nursing in part because of her exemplary leadership on ethical and human rights issues and advocacy regarding nursing education, practice and policy. I consider Laurie a role model for ethical leadership at the University, so I’m thrilled that she received this much-deserved award from the ANA. I congratulate and thank Laurie for her commitment to excellence.”
began her role as dean of the Penn State College of Nursing in July 2018 where
she oversees the undergraduate and graduate programs at 12 commonwealth
campuses and online. Her role also enables her to be a champion of using genomics
in nursing to enhance patient care, and her research in genomics has been
funded by the National Council of the State Boards of Nursing, National
Institutes of Health, National Human Genome Research Institute, and National
Cancer Institute. Badzek is also a member of the American Association of
College of Nursing Deans and Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of
Nursing, and a fellow of the National Academies of Practice and more.
learn more about Laurie Badzek, dean of the
College of Nursing at Penn State, who has been honored with the American Nurses
Association’s Leadership in Ethics Award, visit here.
Our Nurse of the Week is Dana
Lopes, a nursing instructor at the College
of Saint Elizabeth who overcame growing up in poverty in rural Indiana and became
the first high school graduate in her family before continuing on to nursing
Lopes was born in rural
Indiana and raised in a trailer with no heat, no air conditioning, and barely
enough beds for her family. Yet she became the first in her family to graduate
from high school. She is now a nursing instructor and staff member at the College of Saint Elizabeth in
Lopes tells morristowngreen.com, “There was a time I had to sleep on plywood with just a blanket on it. I would always hear murmurings about my family and how I was never going to amount to anything….I want to be the role model for my students that I had when I was in school, because maybe I’m the only one they have in their life.”
Even though the odds were
against her in a family who lived more than 15 percent below the poverty level,
Lopes decided her life was going to be different from the way she grew up. A
tumultuous upbringing with exposure to her father’s incarceration, domestic
violence and substance abuse at home, ultimately inspired Lopes to pursue her
Realizing in middle school
that an education was the only way out of her situation, Lopes joined every
club and sport she could to keep herself away from home, and when she was at
home, she locked herself away in her room in the trailer to read her textbooks
until she fell asleep.
Eventually Lopes’ teachers
became her role models and with their guidance Lopes earned admission to Purdue
University with a fully paid scholarship. She has since earned several
post-graduate certificates and nursing degrees. Now she wants her students to
know that they have the power to fight for what they want and create their own
To learn more about Dana
Lopes, a nursing instructor at the College of Saint Elizabeth who overcame growing
up in poverty and became the first high school graduate in her family before
continuing on to nursing school, visit here.
Our Nurse of
the Week is Stanley
Stinson, a recent nursing graduate of Concordia University who has allowed
his past experience as a young homeless man inspire him to help the homeless,
disabled, mentally ill, and drug-addicted. For Stinson, these issues are personal,
and he believes everyone is deserving of help.
Stinson works closely with his outreach partner, Jeff Hunt. The
duo have been working together for years to tend to those who need help the
most, but Hunt admits that Stinson has been the driving force behind the
Kevin White, a disabled client of Stinson’s, tells fox2detroit.com, “[Stinson] has a big heart for the people on the street and what they’re going through. He went to nursing school so he could better help them.”
Stinson and his outreach team from Covenant Community Care tend
to all kinds of medical needs at a warming center at St. Peter and Paul Church
in Detroit. They offer everything from dental care to foot care. Foot care may
seem odd to some, but Stinson knows the importance of tending to the feet.
Stinson says, “We’re all walking through this life trying to make it…Jesus washed feet, so I think it’s very special to wash people’s feet and take care of their feet. It’s also their mode of transportation so if anything goes wrong with their feet it’s like something going wrong with our vehicle.”
The outreach program goes beyond warming centers and community
clinics; Stinson and his team also hit the streets overnight to try to help
prostitutes, victims of human trafficking, and anyone else in need. He won’t
allow the dark or fear of scary places to let people in need of help be
forgotten. He offers medical care on the streets, as well as hands out boots,
socks, blankets, and more to anyone who needs them.
Now that he’s graduated, Stinson hopes he can spend even more
time on the streets helping the most vulnerable populations. He says his
experiences have been humbling and he considers it an honor to help those in
need. To learn more about Stanley Stinson, a recent nursing graduate of
Concordia University who has allowed his past experience as a young homeless
man inspire him to help the homeless, disabled, mentally ill, and drug-addicted,
Our Nurse of the Week is Cassie Dietrick, a mother of two who worked two jobs and overcame a deployment to Afghanistan, but never stopped working toward a nursing degree from the University of Wisconsin–Madison (UW-Madison).
Dietrick completed her nursing education almost entirely online and through clinicals at an area hospital, but very rarely stepped foot on campus. The flexibility of UW-Madison’s online nursing program was integral to her success. When Dietrich started nursing school, she had an associate’s nursing degree and a full-time job at St. Mary’s Hospital, plus a part-time job with the Wisconsin Air National Guard, with two young children to take care of at home.
While most students take two and a half years to complete the program, Dietrick completed the program in one, even though she spent four of those months serving in Afghanistan. Dietrick was halfway through the nursing program at UW-Madison when the Guard called on her to deploy to Afghanistan. At the time, her youngest child wasn’t even one year old yet and she feared that a poor internet connection overseas might delay her studies and self-imposed deadline to graduate.
Dietrick tells madison.com, “I kind of overextended myself, but feel like I do better when my plate is full.”
During her time overseas, Dietrick made a video call home to her kids at the end of each of her shifts, and then threw herself into her coursework, finishing five classes before returning home. She says she wanted to get as much done as possible so that she could spend time with her family when she came home. When her deployment was extended from three months to four, Dietrick still had 60 required hours of clinical observation that were unmet and she would only be weeks from graduation when returning home in November. Thankfully her mentor was willing to pick up extra shifts so that Dietrick could shadow her to get the hours she needed to complete her degree.
Despite all of her setbacks and challenges, Dietrick managed to finish her clinical hours and walk across the stage this past December with her bachelor’s degree in nursing from UW-Madison. To learn more about Cassie Dietrick, a mother of two who worked two jobs and overcame a deployment to Afghanistan, but never stopped working toward her nursing degree, visit here.
Our Nurse of
the Week is Bethany
Moore, a senior nursing student in the School of Nursing and Allied Health (SONAH)
Kentucky University (WKU), who has designed her college experience to allow
her to receive her nursing degree while serving those closer to home. Her home is
just across the border in Hendersonville, Tennessee, and she hopes to return
there to work as a registered nurse after graduation.
Moore tells wku.edu,
“The number one reason I chose WKU was because of the nursing
program. They are well known for preparing their students for a successful
career, and WKU was close enough to my hometown, without being too close.”
WKU’s nursing curriculum allows
students to participate in simulations that imitate real-life situations and
allow students to apply their classroom knowledge and build their skills. It
also leaves room for error, allowing students to problem solve and make educated
decisions for their patient in a simulated environment.
Moore currently works in a hospital as a nursing intern and has
already applied her knowledge to real-life situations. She had a patient who
had developed acute respiratory distress syndrome and had just completed a
simulation with the same scenario a week before. Applying the knowledge and
skills she gained in the simulation setting, Moore felt confident in
contributing to the care of her patient in the real-world setting.
Moore hopes to continue her education in the future, to work
toward a specialization in neonatal and pediatric care. To learn more about WKU
senior nursing student Bethany Moore who designed her college experience to allow
her to receive her nursing degree while serving those closer to home, visit here.
Our Nurse of the Week is Tori
Levine, 22, a US Marine veteran and current nursing student at Stony Brook
University who wants to become a nurse anesthetist for Doctors
Levine is from Dix Hills, NY,
and says she knew she wanted to enlist in the military when she was nine years
old. When her senior year in high school rolled around, Levine decided to defer
college to enroll in the Marine Corps. She soon found herself serving as a
collateral duty inspector for combat jets while deployed to the Middle East.
Levine tells news.stonybrook.edu,
“I had trouble sleeping thinking about the maintenance I oversaw and imagining
the worst possible cases: ‘What if something wasn’t connected right? What if
the wire we repaired doesn’t hold? What if someone gets hurt? Did I make sure
all of the tools were accounted for?’ With time I was able to gain confidence
in myself and quit second-guessing when I know I had triple-checked it multiple
Her military training eventually taught
her discipline and provided her with mental jet fuel: “Being a nurse also
appealed to me but I never thought I could do that because I struggled in the
sciences. The military made me realize that what they say about mind over
matter is true. I know now I can do it.”
After finishing her undergraduate
degree, Levine eventually wants to become a nurse anesthetist and work for
Doctors Without Borders. She feels she is aptly equipped to provide care and
training to victims of war in the Middle East once she’s received the proper
nursing training. She’s also trying to learn Russian and French, the two languages
required to be accepted into Doctors Without Borders.
To learn more about Tori Levine, a US
Marine veteran and current nursing student at Stony Brook University who wants
to become a nurse anesthetist for Doctors Without Borders, visit here.