Our Nurse of the Week is Brigit Carter, Associate Dean for Diversity and Inclusion in the Duke University School of Nursing, who is leading diversity efforts by heading a program for underrepresented minorities.
Carter’s role is focused on making the School of Nursing a welcoming and inclusive place for employees and students by meeting with members from other departments to form strategies that encourage an affirming atmosphere. She has used a grant from the Health Resources and Services Administration to fund the School of Nursing’s Academy for Academic and Social Enrichment and Health Equity Academy over the last decade.
Duke nursing students from underrepresented minority groups take part in the academy to study social determinants of health. The Health Equity Academy ultimately aims to understand how to best serve patients from a variety of backgrounds.
Carter tells Today.Duke.edu, “We want to be known as a place where all people can come together and feel comfortable, at home and supported. I want us to be proactive in our approach to diversity and inclusion.”
Carter holds a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from North Carolina Central University and a Master of Science in Nursing from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. She also works as a secondary clinical staff nurse in the Duke University Hospital Intensive Care Nursery where she cares for infants who were born early, born with a condition or disease at birth that requires immediate attention, or born with a pre-existing condition like genetic anomalies.
To learn more about Duke Nursing Associate Dean Brigit Carter and her role heading Duke’s program for underrepresented minorities, visit here.
Our Nurse of the Week is Ashley Martin, an alumna of Western Illinois University’s (WIU) School of Nursing who is opening a clinic to help expand psychiatric services in the region. The Lakeview Medical and Psychiatric Clinic is opening this week and Martin will be helping build the practice.
Lakeview has been a private psychiatric firm for the past two years, providing traveling services to the mentally disabled. The new practice will also serve as a clinical site for students in the WIU School of Nursing. Students will have the opportunity to work with psychiatric testing, counseling, and psychological interviews and medications.
Martin tells WIU.edu, “We will still see the mentally disabled, but we are expanding the practice to include a psychiatrist, a psychologist, a nurse practitioner and a licensed family and marriage therapist. This will allow us to expand to do therapy, addiction treatment, DUI assessments and group therapy.”
Following her undergraduate education at WIU, Martin pursued two master’s degrees as a family nurse practitioner at the University of Illinois and as a psychiatric nurse practitioner from the University of St. Francis in Illinois. Martin also serves on the board of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Warren and McDonough Counties and on the board of the Colchester Area Relief Effort.
To learn more about Ashley Martin and her efforts to expand psychiatric services in her region by helping build a new clinic, visit here.
Our Nurse of the Week is Maureen Moore, a dialysis nurse and clinical manager at Fresenius Kidney Care who chose her career path after her own battle with an aggressive kidney disease. Now, she’s using her own experiences as a patient to help her patients.
Moore was diagnosed with IgA nephropathy at 25 years old, a kidney disease that can lead to kidney failure. Her husband had recently joined the military, causing Moore to move just as she started to experience complications due to her kidney disease. At her first follow-up appointment, Moore was told that she was in kidney failure and needed to start dialysis immediately.
Her husband was deployed to Afghanistan at the same time, so Moore began dialysis treatments on her own away from friends and family. Although the experience was difficult, Moore found strength in the nurses and medical professionals who cared for her.
Moore’s family eventually helped move her back to Alabama to continue her dialysis treatments near family until she was able to get a kidney transplant. After receiving a transplant and gaining her health back, Moore decided to go to nursing school and become a dialysis nurse. Her own journey enables her to relate to and connect deeply with her patients because she truly understands what they’re going through.
Moore tells KDHNews.com, “For me and my patients it’s amazing because I can actually relate with sitting with them in the chair. I can go to them and tell them ‘You know what, I know what this is like.’”
To learn more about Maureen Moore’s journey from kidney failure to dialysis nurse, visit here.
Our Nurse of the Week is Elsamar Ibarra who was a nursing student in Texas when Hurricane Harvey struck her hometown last year. Even while her own home had taken on water, Ibarra still couldn’t sit by while she watched people pouring into shelters on the news, so she jumped into action and rushed to the temporary shelter at the George R. Brown Convention Center to help.
Ibarra says she will never forget how the storm left thousands stranded and homeless, and almost 100 dead. Witnessing the aftermath of the hurricane led her to want to help as a nurse by helping bandage wounds, taking vital signs, and giving out medications.
Ibarra tells Click2Houston.com, “It’s my passion. I have something that I want to do, to be the best for the people, to help them when they need help, and I’m here to serve for them.”
Ibarra was later recognized by the Texas Nursing Association for her brave actions. One of her professors at the University of St. Thomas Peavy School of Nursing said she wasn’t surprised by Ibarra’s actions one bit, explaining that Ibarra has been a standout student and nurse since day one.
It’s very special to Ibarra to be able to make positive changes in other’s lives and follow in the footsteps of her mother who was a nurse in Mexico. Ibarra is no longer a nursing student, having since graduated with a nursing degree. Now, she’s following her passion to jump into action and help others like she did during Hurricane Harvey.
To learn more about Elsamar Ibarra and her heroic actions as a nursing student in Houston during Hurricane Harvey, visit here.
Our Nurse of the Week is Dr. Robin Lawson, senior associate dean for academic programs in the University of Alabama (UA) Capstone College of Nursing, who helped to facilitate the creation of BAMA-Care, a program that will enable a nurse practitioner pipeline to rural communities in Alabama.
BAMA-Care was created in an effort to address one of the top health concerns in the state: access to medical care. According to UA.edu, the majority of counties in Alabama are designated health provider shortage areas, and UA plans to combat this issue by training primary care nurse practitioners to work in rural and underserved areas across the state.
In response to an Advanced Nursing Education Workforce grant proposal submitted by Dr. Lawson, the Health Resources and Services Administration of the US Department of Health and Human Services recently awarded $650,000 for this academic year to support the program’s launch.
The funding will allow the BAMA-Care program to prepare nurse practitioner students through academic and clinical training via an academic-practice partnership with Whatley Health Services, one of the largest federally qualified health centers in Alabama.
Lawson tells UA.edu, “The goal of the program is to increase the number of primary care nurse practitioners working in rural and underserved communities. We will create longitudinal immersive clinical experiences in rural and underserved areas for our family and psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner students to facilitate their employment in those same settings upon graduation.”
BAMA-Care is in the process of recruiting a diverse pool of 36 primary care nurse practitioner students over a two-year period to increase diversity in the healthcare workforce. The program calls for at least 50 percent of the participants to be from underrepresented minority groups.
Participants will be placed in Whatley Health Services clinics across West Alabama and other healthcare facilities around the state. Students will receive support for tuition, books, and living expenses. After graduating, students will be eligible to take the family nurse practitioner and psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner certification exams.
Lawson considers it an honor to have the capability to improve access to care in Alabama. To learn more about the University of Alabama Capstone College of Nursing’s BAMA-Care program to increase access to primary care in rural Alabama, visit here.
Our Nurse of the Week is Jenni Chang, an oncology nurse who was honored by her patient Patrick Lewis for the care she showed him after being diagnosed with cancer. Lewis is a US veteran who served as a sergeant in the Marine Corps for three years. Being diagnosed with cancer made Lewis feel alone, like no one else could understand what he was going through, until he met nurse Chang.
After Lewis was admitted to the hospital for chemotherapy treatment for his sinonasal cancer diagnosis, Chang was assigned as his primary care nurse. She decided to share her own story to help him cope, telling him how she was inspired to become an oncology nurse after being diagnosed with leukemia at 16 years old. Her 28 weeks of chemo treatments made Chang want to dedicate her life to giving back to patients and their families.
In an essay about his experience battling cancer, Lewis described Chang with the following: “I have never seen someone so dedicated to caring for a specific patient population, veterans, whom she treats as if they are her own family members.”
It’s rare to find someone like you who can say they’ve been in your shoes and experienced a cancer diagnosis and treatment, but Chang is not like most nurses. She is using her difficult experience as a cancer patient and survivor to help inspire others.
To learn more about oncology nurse Jenni Chang and how she serves cancer patients, including veterans, visit here.