Student Focus: A Nurse First, an Airman Second

Second Lieutenant Jeremy Nelson (right) at his commissioning ceremony with Captain Alan Millais (left).

“I’m a people person,” explains recent Goldfarb School of Nursing grad Jeremy Nelson. “So I planned on going to school to be a teacher. I never thought I would become a nurse and certainly didn’t think I would join the Air Force.” And although many people wouldn’t put the words “nursing” and “Air Force” in the same sentence, Nelson does, because he felt God’s hand leading him to both.

Because both his parents were in the nursing field, Nelson knows about the passion and dedication this career requires. He learned more about the profession as friends became nurses, and his interest in nursing grew as they encouraged him to consider the career for himself. Finally, after time spent working in retail, Nelson decided he wanted to start helping people facing real problems, not retail problems. As a nurse, he knew he could use his people skills to significantly impact lives every day. So at the age of 29, with a wife and baby at home, Nelson enrolled at Goldfarb and took his first nursing class.

In that class, Nelson learned about a number of career options, including military nursing. Nelson says, “I thought to myself…well, that’s not going to happen. I have a wife, a baby, and I’m too old.” Still, the option of joining the military intrigued him. He looked through some brochures and talked to other Goldfarb students – some older than Nelson, one with three kids – who had chosen the military. During the same time frame, Nelson’s father-in-law suddenly passed away and was honored with a military funeral. With increased curiosity, Nelson reached out to his cousin-in-law, Alan Millais, a captain in the U.S. Air Force. “Alan really ignited my desire to join the military,” says Nelson “So many things were leading me that direction; I felt called to join.”

During his last term at Goldfarb, Nelson applied to the U.S. Air Force nursing program. Out of 250 applicants, only 50 were accepted. Nelson recalls how it felt when he received the acceptance phone call. “I said, ‘This is Jeremy Nelson,’ and the recruiter said, ‘You mean Lieutenant Jeremy Nelson.’ I was ecstatic!”

On October 27, at Goldfarb Hall during his commissioning ceremony, Nelson became a second lieutenant in the U.S. Air Force. This winter Nelson will report to commissioned officer training to start his six-year commitment. “I will be a nurse first and an airman second,” says Nelson.

Nelson looks forward to his time in the Air Force. He knows there will be numerous opportunities for him to learn and grow in the field of nursing and in personal character. He intends to seek an advanced nursing degree and ultimately hopes to earn a Doctorate of Nursing Practice. “It would be such an honor to teach others about serving people through nursing, but I never want to entirely leave the clinical setting.”

Homecoming 2012: Celebrating Community & Accomplishments

ImageOn Friday, September 21, students and alumni will gather at the College for the first ever Nursing Networking Social.  This is an opportunity for attendees to interact with nursing professionals in various fields who are there to provide insight into career paths of interest. Enjoy appetizers, cocktails and insightful conversation with fellow nurses.

On Saturday, September 22, alumni, students, family and friends are invited to join a Homecoming celebration onthe campus of Goldfarb School of Nursing at Barnes-Jewish College.

The day’s program will begin with a memorial service for Eloise Delap (Jewish Hospital School of Nursing, 1958), who passed away in March of this year. Eloise influenced the lives of hundreds of students during the more than 30 years she contributed to the success of the Jewish Hospital School of Nursing.

After the memorial service, Dean Michael R. Bleich, PhD, RN, NEA-BC, FAAN, will deliver a brief message, then spend time meeting with attendees.  Alumni can attend a one-hour Continuing Education session on Emergency Preparedness. The program will focus on the challenges of mobilizing academic centers during crisis.

Saturday’s complimentary luncheon offers a chance for conversation with former classmates and current students. The day concludes with a program to recognize alumni who have made significant contributions to the nursing community. The 2012 Distinguished Alumni Awards Reception will conclude the Homecoming celebration.

Throughout Homecoming weekend, the Clinical Simulation Institute will be available for tours. Take the opportunity to walk through Goldfarb’s world-class, advanced simulation facility to get a glimpse of the technology currently used in nursing education.

Homecoming Schedule
Nursing Networking Social at Goldfarb Hall
Friday, September 21
3 – 5 p.m.

Homecoming at Goldfarb Hall
Saturday, September 22
8:30 a.m. – Registration Opens
9 – 10 a.m. – Memorial Service
10 – 10:30 a.m. – Dean’s Welcome
10:30 – 11:30 a.m. – Continuing Education: Emergency Preparedness
11:30 a.m. – 1 p.m. – Alumni Luncheon
1 – 2 p.m. – 2012 Distinguished Alumni Awards
Also available: Clinical Simulation Institute Tours

Visit http://www.barnesjewishcollege.edu/alumni and click on ‘Upcoming Events’ for a complete Homecoming schedule and to register online.

If you have any questions, email them to gson-alumni@bjc.org or call 314-362-7283.

Outreach in Honduras

In June, through the Office of Nursing Research at Goldfarb School of Nursing, students and faculty members visited Honduras for two weeks.  The weeks were full of peer-to-peer teaching, working at a medical brigade and a little sightseeing.

Dr. Donna Taliaferro, Paul McKee, Jr. associate dean for research and professor, recounts some of the highlights from the trip.

The first week we were at the College in Santa Barbara in Honduras and the students delivered the HIV modules in Spanish…they were amazing! The modules given were based on a research study we held when visiting Cameroon last year. These modules will also be given on our visit to Swaziland this next year. 

The second week we were at the medical brigade up in the mountains in Atima. The students and faculty handled triage all week. Our students meant every patient that came through the gates – all in Spanish! The students took turns going out on outreach trips into the rural areas, to the special school and working in the OB clinic. All of our students handled each and every patient with respect and sought advice when needed.

We even got to witness one of our students save a teenager’s life. During a visit at the special school, a teen was stung by a bee. While the teen really only had swelling of the hand, our student decided that the teen needed to come back to our ER just to be checked out. Even though the teen had no difficulty in breathing, and only the swelling, our student thought better – and he was right. The teen ended up going into anaphylactic shock and would have died if not in our ER at the time where we could treat him immediately.

All of our students did amazing work…I couldn’t have been prouder.”

Learn more about Goldfarb School of Nursing at Barnes-Jewish College Office of Nursing Research by visiting www.barnesjewishcollege.edu/research.

To see photos from the Honduras visit, click here.

Goldfarb Alum Going Primetime

Image

Katie Duke, a 2004 graduate of Goldfarb School of Nursing at Barnes-Jewish College, will make her primetime television debut on ABC’s News Medical Documentary “NY Med” on July 10th, 2012.

Duke is a nurse in the emergency department at New York Presbyterian Hospital, the busiest emergency room in New York City, and she has seen it all.  Now everyone can see the insane day-to-day life of an ER nurse through Duke’s eyes.

Living by the mottos “deal with it”, and “everything worthwhile takes sacrifice”, Duke does not see the chaos or challenges in her job as hindrances, but as opportunities.  The opportunities to change lives and to help fix people, or at least teach people how to fix themselves, are just a few reasons why Duke loves being a nurse.  Another reason is that she knows patients get to go home with their loved ones at the end of the day because she is an “awesome nurse”.

The confidence Duke has in her nursing abilities comes from her time spent at Goldfarb School of Nursing at Barnes-Jewish College.  She feels that Goldfarb gave her realistic clinic experience and taught her the fundamental skills that she uses every day.

“The instructors always expected the best,” says Duke. “The college has a big mission and the professors have big hearts. I learned a lot about nursing and about myself while in school.  I stopped underestimating what I could do in my life and started dreaming.”

Now Duke’s dreams are becoming reality.  Not only is she attending Columbia University for a Masters degree as an Acute Care Nurse Practitioner, but she is a part of a documentary that will show viewers the real side of nursing.  Duke is excited that viewers will get to see what it really takes to be a nurse.  The knowledge, bravery, grit and emotions are all there – the good and the bad – but it’s real and Duke can’t wait to share it all with America.

Why consider an RN to BSN program?

This gallery contains 1 photo.

One of the most pressing questions that RNs ask these days is this: “Should I go back to school for my BSN?” There are very good reasons why you should consider getting your BSN: In recent years, many health care … Continue reading

How to be successful in an Accelerated nursing program

This gallery contains 1 photo.

It is no secret that a one-year Accelerated nursing program is demanding, fast-paced and intense. Here at Goldfarb School of Nursing at Barnes-Jewish College, we always field questions from prospective and incoming students on how to manage that workload, especially … Continue reading

Community education program aims to reduce accident and injuries in children

This gallery contains 1 photo.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, unintentional injury is the leading cause of death in children under the age of 14. These injuries occur at home and in the community – and they are predictable, preventable and controllable. That’s … Continue reading