This Nurse of the Week is preparing to practice nursing on a global scale. Graduate student Pam Martin has spent 20 years as a nurse in pediatric hospitals across the US, but she’s now on a mission that will take her far beyond her own national borders.
Pam’s stint as a medical volunteer in rural Haiti in 2017
expanded her horizons and inspired her to ply her skills around the world. First,
though, she has to work through a crowded agenda. While she works in an adult
Emergency Department, Pam is also studying for her Doctor of Nursing Practice
degree at Washington State University in Vancouver. At the same time, she’s
working toward a Graduate Certificate in Public Health (at the WSU College of
Nursing) and a Global Leadership Certificate from the WSU online program.
Pam is focusing on anthropology for her Global Leadership
Certificate, and she believes that this, along with the Graduate Certificate in
Public Health are essential to her plans: “I want to not only treat the person
sitting in front of me, but the population as a whole. In a refugee camp, for
example, if you have an outbreak of disease you need to get that under control
very quickly; if you have limited resources, how do you do that?”
What will Pam do after receiving her DNP and certificates? According
to the WSU
Insider, “After graduation she’ll work as a nurse practitioner to gain
experience in that role. Then her plan is to do humanitarian work, whether
that’s in refugee camps or with groups facing disease outbreaks or displacement
from a natural disaster.” As Pam says, “With an education as a doctoral
prepared DNP, with certificates in Public Health and Global Leadership, I hope
to apply my experience and knowledge to humanitarian work in health care.
Learning from those around the world allows us a better understanding of our
differences and our shared humanity.”
To learn more about Pam Martin, visit the WSU
Our Nurse of the Week is Marcela Hanson, a senior nursing student at the University of Wisconsin–Madison (UW-Madison) who used her time during the COVID-19 pandemic to help others. After being barred from all in-person healthcare settings, Hanson and other UW-Madison nursing students found a way to help their local healthcare professionals through crowdsourcing.
UW Health decided to bar students from going into rooms at the hospital that require personal protective equipment back in February, during what was already a heavy flu season. Fast-spreading COVID-19 only made things worse, forcing the nursing school to move all learning to an online format, and ending students’ interactions with real patients, despite hospitals needing more help than ever.
Hanson works as a University Hospital nursing assistant while taking classes. She learned through a colleague that many health care workers were struggling to balance work and childcare after schools were shuttered to slow the outbreak of COVID-19. This sparked an idea for Hanson: she and her fellow nursing students could watch the children, since they would remain in Madison for their nursing classes.
Hanson shared the idea on her class’s Facebook page and received an unexpectedly strong response. She created a spreadsheet with the name and contact information for the nursing students willing to help and sent it to every nurse and physician she knows.
To learn more about the UW-Madison nursing students who crowdsourced childcare help for local healthcare workers during the COVID-19 pandemic, visit here.
of the Week is Seth Cobb, a nursing student at the University
of Arkansas (U of A) who is using his position on campus to encourage a
sense of community among fellow veterans.
Cobb’s calling to become a nurse began when he was an Army
medic with the 82nd Airborne Division. After four years in the Army, Cobb
decided to move home to Arkansas and pursue his passion. He says his military service
taught him that building a bright future requires initiative. Cobb still remains
part of the military, serving in the Individual Ready Reserves.
Cobb tells news.uark.edu, “My service as a medic cemented that dream and showed me that I had found what I wanted to do with my life. I have never gotten as much fulfillment from life as I did when helping my fellow soldiers through medicine.”
In his second semester of nursing school, Cobb faced
unexpected circumstances that nearly forced him to drop out. In 2019, a family
member facing an urgent financial hardship forced Cobb to start working full
time to help. But then he was awarded the Mike and Cindy Bonds Advance Arkansas
Scholarship that same month, allowing him to refocus on schoolwork and his
dream of becoming a nurse.
Now, Cobb is helping others on the U of A campus. He’s the
president of the Razorback Student Veterans organization, which helps student
veterans transition to civilian life. Cobb is especially focused on connectivity
and service, inspired by the high suicide rate among veterans. He is committed to
growing a rich community among the veterans at U of A and in their local
community, to ensure a support system for his fellow veterans.
According to news.uark.edu, Cobb stated in a press release: “We aim to alleviate some of their challenges by providing a peer group they can relate to, while also giving them an outlet to continue the service they built their lives on in the military though volunteering and service projects here at home.”
To learn more about Seth Cobb, a nursing student at U of A
who is using his position on campus to encourage a sense of community among
fellow veterans, visit here.
Our Nurse of the Week is Sally
Herman, 56, a nurse from Mesa, AZ who has helped hundreds of children
through her work with non-profit, Operation
Herman reports that she grew up feeling like
the underdog. Her parents worked hard to correct Herman’s crossed eyes, which
she was frequently bullied for as a child.
Herman tells abc15.com, “I always thought if I could make it through school and get my nurse’s degree, I’m going to make sure kids have a life and don’t have to worry about deformities.”
After finishing nursing school, Herman began
her career in Illinois before moving to Arizona and landing a job as an air rescue
nurse. Unfortunately, her dream job was cut short when she was laid off 6
months later. That’s when she realized that she really wanted to work with
Operation Smile, and allowed her layoff to bring her back to her childhood goal.
Since then, Herman has traveled the world
and completed 50 trips with Operation Smile, a non-profit that provides safe
medical treatment to kids with cleft palates in underprivileged countries. Each
trip lasts around ten days, and during each trip Herman and her fellow
volunteers fix hundreds of cleft palates, providing life-changing results for
Herman is currently back to work as an air
rescue nurse, but she still volunteers regularly. To learn more about Sally Herman,
a nurse from Mesa, AZ who has helped hundreds of children through her work with
non-profit, Operation Smile, visit here.
Our Nurse of the Week is Margy
Tepen, a recent nursing graduate of Southeast
Missouri State University, who began her new career in the cardiac intensive
care unit (ICU) at DePaul Hospital in Bridgeton, MO, last month.
As a cardiac nurse, Tepen will be closely
monitoring post-heart attack, post-pacemaker implantation, post-open-heart
surgery, cardiac drips, heart failure, and respiratory failure patients on the
cardiac ICU stepdown floor.
Tepen’s time as a
nursing student helped prepare and guide her into her career. Her clinical
requirements included time in a hospital cardiac care unit, which inspired her
to pursue her current role in the cardiac ICU. One day, she hopes to earn an
adult-gerontology acute care nurse practitioner degree and work alongside cardiologists.
Tepen tells news.semo.edu, “I completed an adult health clinical on the Progressive Care Unit at Saint Francis Medical Center (Cape Girardeau), and this floor had primarily cardiac and oncology patients. This is where I began to love the cardiac patients. This clinical and practicum helped me see the progression of cardiac patients and how their treatment was helping them. I was also able to gain a lot of experience in basic patient care and communication.”
During her time at
Southeast, Tepen also honed her leadership skills, serving as representative
and vice president for Southeast’s Student Nurses’ Association, and student
representative for the Nursing Undergraduate Curriculum Committee. She is also
a member of the National Society of Leadership and Success and Sigma Theta Tau.
To learn more about Margy Tepen, a recent nursing graduate
of Southeast Missouri State University, who began her new career in the cardiac
intensive care unit last month, visit here.
Our Nurse of the Week is Annette Bongiovanni, a nurse and public health policy expert who has spent the last four decades of her career working to make the world a healthier place. Since graduating from Binghamton University’s Decker School of Nursing in the late 70s, Bongiovanni has traveled the world for her career in public health policy, evaluation, and research.
Bongiovanni has worked for the United States Agency for International Development, World Bank, and World Health Organization, and collaborated with the National Institutes of Health and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. She has also partnered with foundations and universities, designing and leading initiatives to enhance maternal, neonatal, and child health; improve reproductive health and family planning; and curb the spread of HIV/AIDS and other infectious diseases.
When Bongiovanni started nursing school she wanted to become a social worker and thought she could earn money to pay for a master’s degree by working as a nurse for a few years. However, by the time she graduated she never doubted she wanted to be a nurse.She had focused on community mental health as an undergrad student, and after Binghamton she became a nurse at Stanford University, treating some of the first HIV patients in California’s Bay Area. Later, she became a critical-care nurse working with heart and heart-lung transplant patients.
Bongiovanni moved to Bali for a few months in the 80s to pursue a hobby and fell in love with Indonesia. She later returned to become a project director for Project HOPE in the pediatric and neonatal ICU at the University of Indonesia’s teaching hospital in Jakarta. She also advised Indonesia’s Ministry of Health about creating a policy requiring the certification of pediatric intensive-care nurses, resulting in a program that continues 30 years later.
After returning, Bongiovanni pursued a master’s degree in public policy from Harvard University’s School of Government. Her career has since taken her to nearly 50 countries, and inspired her to publish more than 30 research papers and write policy briefs for past presidents including Bill Clinton.
Bongiovanni is currently the vice president of technical services for the Virginia-based International Business and Technical Consultants Inc., where she leads a global team with staff in the United States and abroad who are researching the effectiveness of US foreign assistance, such as aid programs to fight the Ebola outbreak in West Africa.
Bongiovanni tells binghamton.edu, “The Decker School taught me a lot about the patient as an individual. They come from different walks of life, but they’re all treated equally. To me, that’s the most beautiful thing about being a nurse—everyone is treated the same in a patient gown, and no one person is more important than another. Everybody gets out of bed one foot at a time.”
To learn more about Annette Bongiovanni, a nurse and public health policy expert who has spent the last four decades of her career working to make the world a healthier place, visit here.