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.
of the Week is Nathan
May, a 27-year-old nurse at Riley
Hospital for Children, who has a passion for connecting with his pediatric
cardiac patients. The gift that May brings to his patients is largely in his bedside
manner, not his clinical skills.
He has mastered the art of making connections with his
pediatric patients in the Heart Center, and he has a special trick for every
age group. With babies, he taps into his music minor from college and sings
lullabies. For school-age kids, he talks about, or sometimes even plays, video games
with them. With older teens, sharing the latest meme usually gets their
attention. However, he says the school-age kids are his favorites because they
remind him of his nine nieces and nephews.
May didn’t start out working with pediatric patients
and didn’t think he had the heart to care for kids. He originally worked with
adult patients at a hospital in his hometown, before moving to Indianapolis and
finding his passion for working with children at Riley.
May tells rileychildrens.org, “I wanted to do pediatrics when I started nursing school, then I had my first couple of patients, and they made me really sad because we had to stick them and do labs and cath them. I backed off. I didn’t think I had the heart for it.”
May discovered his passion for nursing while in school, taking after his mother
and brother who are both nurses. After shadowing for a day in the Heart Center
at Riley, May knew that was the right place for him. Now a year into his
position there, May loves his job and his patients and is planning to enroll in
a family nurse practitioner program next year.
To learn more about Nathan May, a nurse at
Riley Hospital for Children who has a passion for connecting with his pediatric
cardiac patients, visit here.
Our Nurse of the Week is Abbey
Lacy, a nurse at Methodist Estabrook Cancer Center in Omaha, NE, who took her
cancer patient, Ray Jolly, skydiving during a particularly rough week.
Jolly is 66 years old and was diagnosed with
Myelodysplastic Syndrome, a type of blood cancer, about a year ago. He has
since gone through six rounds of chemotherapy and now requires a blood and platelet
transfusion about twice a week.
Each of Jolly’s visits to Methodist Estabrook
Cancer Center for a transfusion takes several hours. In that time, he has developed
a friendship with Lacy, his nurse. They’re both adventure seekers and enjoy
chatting about extreme sports.
While Jolly was having a particularly tough
week recently, Lacy noticed he wasn’t acting like his usual self. Many people
in Jolly’s life say his name is the perfect embodiment of his attitude. Lacy tells
“I was down that he was down
because it’s not typical for him to have kind of a bum attitude. It was like,
‘what can I do?’ I was just sitting at my desk and, lightbulb, I know exactly
what I can do.”
Lacy called a friend at Lincoln Sport Parachute
Club and set up a day to go skydiving with Jolly. Lacy has been skydiving over
20 times and felt very comfortable taking her patient for a chance to cheer him
up. Jolly loved the experience and has been telling everyone that he can’t wait
to do it again.
A career in nursing can be tough, especially
for Lacy who cares for cancer patients, but she tries to stay positive and keep
things fun. For patients like Jolly, her positive influence makes all the
To learn more about Abbey Lacy, a nurse who took
her cancer patient skydiving during a particularly rough week, visit here.
Our Nurse of the Week is Mark
Cavender, a 56-year-old and previous US service member from Conway, Arkansas,
who started nursing school at age 54, proving that age is just a number when you’re
achieving your dreams.
Cavender tells thebl.com, “I get some funny looks sometimes, but I look back funny and it works. I tell some of my classmates, they could be the same age as my grandchildren.”
Cavender decided to leave his safety inspection job in 2017, at 54 years old, to start his journey to becoming a nurse at the University of Central Arkansas. His decision came from his late wife who died of cancer a few years ago. The nurses they met while his wife was in the hospital inspired him to become a nurse and give back to other families experiencing medical hardship.
Susan Grotto, director of nursing at the
University of Central Arkansas, says there is a severe nursing shortage nationwide
and Cavender’s enrollment is helping to shrink this major problem in the field.
When talking about Cavender, she says, “It’s never too late. It takes a
decision, brains, and heart.”
Cavender is now working his way through clinicals like
surgery and labor and delivery. He’s waiting to see which one moves him the
most before deciding on his next move after graduating in May 2021.
To learn more about Mark Cavender, a previous US
service member who started nursing school at 54 years old, visit here.
Our Nurse of
the Week is Lori
Wood, 57, a nurse at Piedmont Newnan Hospital in Georgia, who became the
guardian of a homeless patient so that he could receive a heart transplant.
Wood’s patient, Jonathan Pinkard, had been disqualified from the waiting list for
a new heart because he didn’t have a support system in place to care for him
after the transplant.
Pinkard, who lives with high-functioning autism, had been living
in a men’s shelter and working as an office clerk when he learned he needed a
new heart. He landed in the hospital again four months later, where he was
assigned to nurse Wood. After two days of treating him, Wood figured out the dire
situation Pinkard was in and decided she would take him in herself.
Pinkard tells washingtonpost.com, “I couldn’t believe that somebody who had known me only two days would do this. It was almost like a dream.”
Wood has been a nurse for 35 years, but had never done anything
like this before. She reports that she does not typically blue the lines
between her personal and professional lives, but something about Pinkard struck
her differently. He didn’t have anybody looking out for him, and in Pinkard’s
case that was the difference between life and death.
Wood says, “That can be very frustrating if you know a patient needs something, and for whatever reason they can’t have it. It gnaws at you…For me, there was no choice. I’m a nurse; I had an extra room. It was not something I struggled with. He had to come home with me.”
After Pinkard was discharged, Wood loaded him into her car and
brought him home. He had nothing but a cellphone to his name. Wood bought him a
new bedroom set and made him feel at home. Thanks to Wood, Pinkard received his
heart transplant in August and is expected to be cleared to return to work
Wood has invited Pinkard to stay with her as long as he needs,
but she knows he wants to have his own life at some point. When he’s ready,
they both plan to work together to make that happen.
To learn more about Lori Wood, who became the guardian of a
homeless patient so that he could receive a heart transplant, visit here.