Military service can involve occupational health risks as severe as those one might experience from being a part of a hazmat team. Yet many patients with military backgrounds do not notify medical professionals of their service.

Linda Schwartz, DrPH, MSN, RN, commissioner of the Connecticut Department of Veterans’ Affairs (VA), says nurses can play a critical role in identifying veterans’ health risks that may be associated with wars and other military deployments. READ MORE

Daytime talk show host Katie Couric recently paid tribute to nurses and the important role they play in their patients’ lives. Her guest, Diana Mason, PhD, RN, FAAN, president of the American Academy of Nursing (AAN), highlighted another critical role of today’s nurses: decision-maker.

“In 2010, a study from the Institute of Medicine reported that nurses are not being used to their full potential,” Mason explained. “This finding is key because it recognizes that we cannot transform healthcare in our country without tapping into the potential of our nurses and the important role they can play at decision-making tables at all levels of healthcare organizations and for all healthcare policies.”

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Hannah Byers, a student in the Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree program at Chamberlain College of Nursing’s Columbus campus, is working to help combat a national epidemic — the rising number of heart attacks and strokes. And she’s doing it through preventative care.

Each year, Americans suffer more than two million heart attacks and strokes.[1] The healthcare industry is evolving to focus on preventive care in an effort to lower healthcare costs and the prevalence of chronic disease such as these. Hannah and her peers hope to prevent these conditions, which are the first and fourth leading causes of death in the United States.[2]

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Dwayne and Veronica Bryant, now husband and wife student nurses at Chamberlain College of Nursing’s Jacksonville campus, met while they were serving in the U.S. Air Force. Through experiences during their military service, they were soon drawn to careers in healthcare.

When Veronica joined the military 11 years ago, she wasn’t sure which career field she wanted to pursue outside of her service. However, after watching military nurses save lives, she quickly gravitated toward the field of nursing.

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While nurses are dedicated to caring for others, they must also remember to care for themselves. Learning to grieve is an integral part of emotional well-being as most nurses will experience the loss of a patient at some point in their career. It is important to take steps to help prepare for those emotionally difficult moments.

“I encourage all nurses to have a grieving plan in place so they can process this loss in a healthy way,” said Susan Waltz, DNP, MSN, BSN, RN, an associate professor in the Master of Science in Nursing degree program at Chamberlain College of Nursing who has professional experience as a grief counselor.

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Volunteerism is one of the most gratifying ways nursing students can gain hands-on experience by sharing their knowledge and passion for care with others.

Recent research from the Corporation for National and Community Service shows that volunteers are 27 percent more likely to find employment than non-volunteers1.  While volunteerism provides individuals with a potential entry route into an organization where they would like to work, it also yields additional benefits for shaping one’s career path.

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The core of nursing is care for others. While it is a rewarding and fulfilling career path, it can be exhausting for nurses who do not care for themselves in the same way they would care for a patient. While giving care to others, nurses tend to neglect care of themselves.

The stresses of a healthcare work environment can be particularly challenging for nurses because the profession is always changing. The role of the nurse is not stagnant, and with any rapid change comes stress.

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Pamela Matthews is a woman with a big heart and career aspirations just as large.

A native Bostonian, she earned her bachelor’s degree in social work and began working with a local hospital, managing residential sites and group homes for people who were developmentally delayed. Pamela was responsible for all of the behavioral components of her caseload and acted as a liaison between her patients and their medical care teams. Concurrently, she volunteered with the Special Olympics, working with kids and adults with intellectual disabilities.

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Last month, more than 37,000 healthcare and IT professionals descended upon Orlando, FL for the annual Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) Conference and Exhibition. As always, a lot of exciting news and developments were shared at the event, much of which can impact the day-to-day work of nurses.

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