Our Nurse of the Week is Mark Casanova, a senior in the Indiana University (IU) Bloomington School of Nursing, who is set to become the school’s first Latino male nursing graduate. He is set to graduate this May and hopes his story will help inspire other people of color to not let anything stop their dreams.
Casanova tells IDSNews.com that he will never forget when he first realized the meaning of being a nurse. He was in nursing school, observing a cesarean section during his junior year, where he saw the doctor deliver two babies. He still remembers the mother’s face when she held her twin girls for the first time and it opened his eyes to the effect he could have on patients. Thanks to his clinical experience in nursing school, Casanova has decided to start in a medical-surgical unit after graduation.
According to Casanova, he has known he wanted to do something medical since he was a kid, but discovered in high school that he really wanted to pursue a nursing career. Working in hospitals as a nursing student has only strengthened his desire to become one. Casanova says he is attracted to nursing because it allows him to get to know people and gain medical knowledge.
Being the first Latino male nurse to graduate from the IU School of Nursing is a story Casanova will share with his kids one day and he hopes that his story will also help inspire other people of color to not let anything stop their dreams.
To learn more about IU-Bloomington’s first Latino male nursing graduate, Mark Casanova, visit here.
Our Nurse of the Week is Allison Squires, a professor in the NYU Rory Meyers College of Nursing, who has been selected as the National Academy of Medicine (NAM) Distinguished Nurse Scholar-in-Residence for the Future of Nursing 2020-2030 Study.
The Distinguished Nurse Scholar-in-Residence program is supported by the American Academy of Nursing, the American Nurses Association, and the American Nurses Foundation. It is a year-long opportunity for a fellow of the Academy to engage with nurse leaders and other scholars at the National Academy of Medicine while helping to develop health policy at the federal level.
Squires is a global health workforce capacity-building researcher with a special interest in improving immigrant and refugee health outcomes. As the NAM Distinguished Nurse Scholar-in-Residence, Squires will examine methods for increasing interprofessional collaboration and maximizing the skills of nurses through sustainable development perspectives.
Squires stated in a press release: “I am honored to be selected for this opportunity to represent the American Academy of Nursing, the American Nurses Association, and the American Nurses Foundation while undertaking this important work at the National Academy of Medicine, in collaboration with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. This is an excellent chance for me to utilize my international focus to advance NAM’s research on health equity and the sustainability of our nation’s nursing workforce.”
Squires was selected as the NAM Distinguished Nurse Scholar-in-Residence for her strong policy background and stated focus to examine and address sustainability of the workforce from the perspective of integrating social determinants of health. Her study comes at a critical time and will be vital to determining nursing’s course in the coming decades.
To learn more about NYU Professor Allison Squires who was selected as the National Academy of Medicine Distinguished Nurse Scholar-in-Residence for the Future of Nursing 2020-2030 Study, visit here.
Our Nurse of the Week is Angela Farnan, a nurse in the pediatric ICU at OSF Children’s Hospital of Illinois who adopted a baby with a rare condition who she cared for after he was born. Blaze, who turns 2 in May, suffered from hypo plastic left heart syndrome, a rare congenital defect in which a part of the infant’s heart is underdeveloped or not there at all.
Farnan tells People.com, “I work in the PICU and I can tell you many stories about the many children I’ve cared for over the years. There’s an attachment to these children and their families. You become very invested in them.”
Blaze was born on May 30, 2017, and underwent heart surgery at just 3 days old before enduring another a few months later. His biological family didn’t live near the hospital or have the resources to care for him at home so Blaze remained in the ICU for several months.
Farnan first agreed to have short-term guardianship of Blaze as he remained hospitalized, and a few months later Blaze was preparing to go home when his biological parents asked if Farnan and her husband, Rick Farnan, would adopt Blaze.
The Farnan’s filed the adoption papers last year and finalized the adoption in June. Both new parents describe the experience as a dream come true. Although Blaze is now at home with his parents, his health journey is not over. He will undergo a third heart surgery and may need a heart transplant eventually. Farnan, however, is up for the challenge and says Blaze makes her work as a nurse even more enjoyable when she comes home to him at the end of the day.
To learn more about Angela Farnan, a pediatric ICU nurse who adopted a baby with a rare heart condition after caring for him in the ICU, visit here.
Our Nurse of the Week is Meg Busing, a nurse, mother, and former camp counselor who founded Camp YouCan, a summer camp in Nebraska for kids with epilepsy. She was inspired to found the camp after going through her own health struggles and after serving as a counselor at a camp for families of kids with cancer before she started nursing school.
After a car accident in 1998 left Busing with a traumatic brain injury that left her struggling with seizures for over a decade, she eventually underwent a successful brain surgery, which has left her seizure free since. Meg started the camp along with her husband Kael Busing, as well as their own nonprofit, the Midwest YouCan Foundation.
Busing tells Omaha.com, “We named it Camp YouCan because kids are always reminded of the things they can’t do. We just want them to see all that they can do and meet other kids with epilepsy.”
Camp YouCan provides a sense of community and a chance to talk with other kids going through the same thing. The camp offers a number of activities including ziplining, tightrope walking, rockwall climbing, archery, and a water slide. By the end of the week, campers leave with new confidence in their abilities, lifelong friendships, and excitement to come back and do it again the next year.
Before opening Camp YouCan, Meg overcame her illness and injuries and became a registered nurse and mother of three. Now she’s sharing with others how to advocate for themselves, build a community of support, and find things they CAN do. To learn more about registered nurse Meg Busing and how she founded her nonprofit and a summer camp for kids with epilepsy, visit here.
Our Nurses of the Week are the nursing students from West Carolina University’s School of Nursing who volunteered to provide services at a free rural health care clinic in eastern Tennessee. More than 10 students provided patients with medical, dental, and vision care. Over a thousand people attended the free clinic over a period of three days during which the clinic provided an estimated $883,456 in free medical care.
Elizabeth Sexton, WCU assistant professor of nursing and an excursion leader, tells WCU.edu, “These students from community mental health nursing practicum class were up at 4 a.m. to take part in the clinical services. They got exposure to it all, from triaging patients, giving flu shots to helping in the dental and vision areas. They also got to see the big picture. For whatever reason, whether lack of health insurance, lack of resources, inadequate healthy nutrition, poor dental hygiene or substance abuse, the needy individuals were there and seeking help for dental, vision and medical problems, and so appreciative to receive it.”
Remote Area Medical is a nonprofit organization based in Rockford, Tennessee, since 1985 and has held mobile clinics for uninsured and underserved families and individuals, assisted by health care professionals and students. Its mission is to prevent pain and alleviate suffering and to enhance quality of life through the delivery of competent and compassionate health care to those who are impoverished, isolated, and underserved in the US.
To learn more about the West Carolina University nursing students who volunteered to provide healthcare services at Remote Area Medical’s mobile clinic, visit here.
Our Nurse of the Week is Beverly Lyne, a retired nurse who decided to take action and travel to the US-Mexico border in order to help migrant families after news of the death of two young children who were in US border custody shelters hit her hard.
Lyne tells KGUN9.com, “They’re just people wanting to live their lives without fear of their children being kidnapped and trafficked, without their land being taken away from them.”
Lyne is no stranger to humanitarian crises and her medical career has taken her to places like Haiti, Nicaragua, and Uganda in the past. After seeing a caravan of Central Americans living in tents and running from tear gas, she wanted to see for herself what was going on and how she could help.
After arriving, Lyne worked with the human rights group Border Angels, handing out supplies and offering medical care. She also witnessed firsthand how children weren’t getting the nutrition they need. After her experience volunteering with families at the border, Lyne says more has to be done to help these families, like sending medical specialists to evaluate the children.
Lyne hopes her presence will spread new perspective on both sides of the border and hopes migrant families have seen a different side of Americans after their interactions with her. To learn more about retired nurse Beverly Lyne who traveled to the US-Mexico border to help migrant families, visit here.