Nurse of the Week: Angela Farnan Adopts Baby With Rare Heart Condition She Cared for as a Nurse in the ICU

Nurse of the Week: Angela Farnan Adopts Baby With Rare Heart Condition She Cared for as a Nurse in the ICU

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.

Nurse Practitioners: Meeting the Needs of Rural Veterans

Nurse Practitioners: Meeting the Needs of Rural Veterans

VA strives to deliver high-quality, compassionate health care to Veterans across America. We’ve taken great strides to ensure patients living in rural areas have access to a range of care options to best meet their health care needs. Due to VA’s recent “scope of practice” laws—which grant advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs) full practice authority—certified nurse practitioners are stepping in to provide primary care to patients in rural areas.

Currently, nurse practitioners account for 1 in 4 medical providers in rural practices—a 43.2% increase from 2008 to 2016. Their advanced training and ability to diagnose and prescribe medicine enables more efficient, cost-effective health care delivery. Joyce Knestrick, president of the American Association of Nurse Practitioners (AANP), says “NPs are one of the most significant factors in expanding patient access to primary, acute and specialty care, especially at a time when demand is high and physicians remain concentrated in more urban and affluent areas.”

More and more, nurse practitioners are taking on a significant role in the health care of Veterans in rural areas. Their growing presence demonstrates the wealth of experience, growth and impact available to nurses interested in advancing their careers. Bring your nursing expertise to VA and discover a career in which your capabilities are utilized to the fullest extent—and consider a future serving our honorable Veterans living in rural areas. You’ll enjoy a satisfying quality of life unmatched by metropolitan areas, with all the same comprehensive benefits offered across the VA system. To get started, explore open positions near you and apply.

This story was originally posted on VAntage Point.

Nurses of the Week: St. Louis Mercy Hospital Nurses Donate Lottery Winnings to Colleagues in Need

Nurses of the Week: St. Louis Mercy Hospital Nurses Donate Lottery Winnings to Colleagues in Need

Our Nurses of the Week are a group of 126 neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) nurses at Mercy Children’s Hospital St. Louis in Missouri who pooled their money to buy a lottery ticket. Their story went viral last week when they won $10,000 and instead of each being about $50 richer, decided to use the money to help other Mercy coworkers who’d fallen on difficult times.

These nurses had no idea how much of an impact their purchase would make, but they knew they needed to do something generous with their winnings. They decided to present two checks to nurse Gretchen Post and neonatologist Dr. Casey Orellana. Post’s son died by suicide the month prior and Orellana’s husband was recently diagnosed with stage 4 sarcoma cancer.

Playing the lottery is a fun tradition for these nurses whose work can often be stressful. As last month’s jackpot grew to $1.6 billion, Stephanie Brinkman, the lottery pool organizer, stayed up late to watch the results come in. Soon her phone was lighting up with calls and messages from her colleagues. They had a winning ticket.

Brinkman tells ABCNews.Go.com, “We thought right away that this [money] wasn’t going to make us or break us and it was money we didn’t have before. We needed to help somebody…We have a very strong bond and I think this just goes to show that we’re always here for each other, no matter what. We hope stories like this encourage others to spread kindness and love.”

To learn more about the NICU nurses from Mercy Children’s Hospital St. Louis who donated their lottery winnings to their colleagues in need, visit here.

Nurses of the Week: UCLA Nursing Professors Christine Samuel-Nakamura and Mary Rezk-Hanna Pursue Work Inspired by Their Heritage

Nurses of the Week: UCLA Nursing Professors Christine Samuel-Nakamura and Mary Rezk-Hanna Pursue Work Inspired by Their Heritage

Our Nurses of the Week are UCLA School of Nursing professors Christine Samuel-Nakamura and Mary Rezk-Hanna who have both received grants from the UCLA Academic Senate Council on Research to conduct research projects inspired by their heritage. After earning their doctorate degrees at UCLA Nursing, both nurses were welcomed as assistant professors at the university.

Samuel-Nakamura grew up on the Diné (the indigenous name for Navajo) Nation reservation in New Mexico where she was the youngest child in a large family that raised its own livestock and crops. Her experience growing up on the reservation made Samuel-Nakamura aware of the challenges facing her tribe, including poverty and chronic health problems like diabetes and cardiovascular disease. She later decided to help address these issues by becoming a nurse.

Samuel-Nakamura earned her Bachelor of Science in Nursing at the University of New Mexico, then pursued her Family Nurse Practitioner Master of Science in Nursing degree at UCLA. She tells Newsroom.UCLA.edu:

“I wanted to be able to work with communities on their health issues and empower people to help themselves…As a researcher, you investigate and explore what you see in clinical practice and develop some type of explanation for it and find a way to address it. Clinical practice informs research which, in turn, informs clinical practice.”

Samuel-Nakamura worked for several years in the clinical setting in the federally run Indian Health Service and in tribal hospital clinics on the Diné reservation in Arizona where community elders appreciated her ability to speak with them in their native tongue. She recently received two one-year grants to re-evaluate environmentally contaminated sites in Los Angeles County (home to the largest urban American Indian population in the United States). One grant comes from the American Indian Studies Center in the UCLA Institute of American Cultures and the second is from the UCLA Academic Senate Council on Research.

Mary Rezk-Hanna found inspiration for her research program growing up in Alexandria, Egypt, where both of her parents worked as physicians. She shadowed them as they treated patients, which influenced her decision to become a nurse. One thing she remembers from growing up in Alexandria is looking down from her apartment balcony and being fascinated by the popular hookah cafes across the street.

Rezk-Hanna’s family moved to the US when she was 13 and she later earned her associate degree in nursing and worked as a registered nurse where she became interested in the physiological effects of smoking in young adults with tobacco-related illnesses. She then obtained her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from George Mason University, and while pursuing a Family Nurse Practitioner Master of Science degree at UCLA, she was selected to conduct a community research project about a local population health concern.

Rezk-Hanna found that two of the largest hookah lounges in LA are within one mile of UCLA and considered a major community health concern. She noticed most customers were young adults, with a large portion of them being females, and decided to conduct a study to assess young adult hookah smokers’ attitudes, perceptions, and beliefs toward their choice of smoking, and to identify predictors of hookah smoking. She found that the majority of subjects believed that hookah smoking is not harmful to one’s health.

Rezk-Hanna tells Newsroom.UCLA.edu, “These data could be used to inform young adults about the dangers of hookah smoking as well as provide evidence to guide policy specific to hookah and other alternative tobacco products and nicotine delivery systems.”

Rezk-Hanna is building on her recent findings by studying other evolving hookah tobacco products and their effects on heart health. She has received three grants to investigate the potential cardiovascular toxicity of electronic hookah use among young adults: one from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, one from the UCLA Clinical and Translational Science Institute, and one from the UCLA Academic Senate Council on Research.

To learn more about UCLA Nursing professors Christine Samuel-Nakamura and Mary Rezk-Hanna and how their heritage has inspired their research, visit here.

Nurse of the Week: SUNY Delhi Nursing Student Keara Lawson Treats Crash Victim On Way to Clinical Rotations

Nurse of the Week: SUNY Delhi Nursing Student Keara Lawson Treats Crash Victim On Way to Clinical Rotations

Our Nurse of the Week is Keara Lawson, a nursing student at the State University of New York (SUNY) at Delhi who was driving from Delhi to Stamford for her clinical placement when she witnessed an accident and stopped to help the crash victim. The quick-thinking student received a real-life lesson in first response that she will carry with her for the rest of her career.

At 6:15 AM on a morning in October, the sun was not yet up as Lawson was driving herself and three fellow nursing students through cold rain when the car ahead of her slowed down before a vehicle swerved into her lane. Lawson recalls seeing the oncoming vehicle hit something before a huge explosion happened and something on fire flew into the ditch.

Lawson pulled over and got out as the driver also stepped out of his vehicle, in shock and experiencing tunnel vision. He told the nursing students they needed to call 911 because he had just hit a woman. The driver ran into the ditch and pulled a woman out of the fire and began rolling her in the dirt.

According to TheDailyStar.com, state troopers reported that a woman had been walking southbound holding a gas can, and when she was struck, the gas can exploded. Lawson saw the woman on the ground, and the driver and nursing students quickly ran over to help comfort her and keep her conscious until paramedics arrived.

Lawson recalls, “We had nothing but our textbooks, stethoscopes and our brains. [The paramedics] were really thankful that we were able to give them information so they knew exactly what to do when they got there.”

Lawson and her classmates were only 10 weeks into their first year of nursing school, but this is an experience they will carry with them for the rest of their careers. She felt a passion and instinct to help, assuring her that she’s pursuing the right career path. To learn more about SUNY Delhi nursing student Keara Lawson who treated a crash victim on her way to her clinical rotations, visit here.

Apply now to get featured on NursesGetCertified.com!

Apply now to get featured on NursesGetCertified.com!

Are you an accomplished Family or Adult Gerontological Nurse Practitioner? It’s time for you to be in the spotlight! Springer Publishing is looking for a select group of rock star nurses to inspire and educate the next generation in your area of expertise. Apply now to be featured in our Day-In-The-Life profiles on our upcoming website, NursesGetCertified.com. Eligible candidates are:

  • Actively certified as an Adult Gerontology Primary Care or Family Nurse Practitioner
  • Working clinically in this area of certification
  • Interested in helping future nurses understand what life is like after the exam

Fill out our form by Tuesday, November 27th for your chance at this opportunity. Selected candidates will participate in a 30-minute interview which will be featured along with a photo on our new website. You’ll also receive a $25 Amazon gift card for participating. Join us in our mission to make nursing certification simple!


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