The Virtual Clinical Podcast

The Virtual Clinical Podcast

A weekly podcast supporting the student nurse and soon-to-be Registered Nurse with insights from members of the nursing community.

All Episodes

S4. Ep 7. Fill Up Your Cup Project with Emily Mazurak MPH, BSN, RN, CCRN

We join Emily Mazurak in this episode for all things Fill Up Your Cup Project. Emily describes her start in nursing in Pediatrics as a Trauma Fellow, who eventually became a travel nurse. During this time, she experienced burnout and decreased joy. She discussed how self-identification of the 8 symptoms of burnout are imperative for healing. We discuss her newest venture, the Fill Up Your Cup project which uses mentorship, a book club and other tactics to help nurses. Hear from how the project was born, why the project might be a great fit for you and more!
May 24, 2022
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S4. Ep 6. Travel Nursing and Overcoming PTSD with Anne-Helen Ydstie, BSN, RN

In this episode, we hear from Anne-Helen Ydstie. Anne-Helen started out her career as a nurse in a Level 2.5 Special Care Nursery in Chicago, Il. She then moved to Pittsburgh and transitioned to adults in neuroscience before embarking on her journey as a travel nurse. Throughout the pandemic, she developed PTSD and shares her journey of recovery and ways in which she hopes others might find resolve.
May 3, 2022
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S4. Ep 5. Part 2: Poetic Expressions in Nursing: Sharing the Caring Susan J Farese, MSN, RN

In the 2nd part of this episode, we continue our conversation and hear live poetry! More about Susan's accomplishments. Susan J. (Felice) Farese, MSN, RN, (Veteran), a native of NJ, is owner/president of SJF Communications PR in San Diego, CA. Ms. Farese has diversified experience in health care/communications, including military and civilian nursing practice, management, education/training, research and consulting. SJF Communications provides Public Relations, Marketing, Social Media, Websites, Writing, Filmmaking, Mentoring and Photography. Clients include theatres, musicians, filmmakers, authors and businesses. Susan is the author of the book “Poetic Expressions in Nursing: Sharing the Caring” (1993 and 2021) and has written poetry and articles on a variety of topics. She is a member of SAG-AFTRA, American Legion Post 43, Veterans in Media & Entertainment, San Diego Writers Ink, and the San Diego Press Club. PRAISE FOR Poetic Expressions in Nursing: Sharing the Caring: “Susan Farese's "Poetic Expressions in Nursing" is a heartfelt expression of the emotional generosity demonstrated by healthcare workers everywhere. It also gives us a much-needed peek into the multi-dimensional character of all those who are drawn to the noble nursing profession.” -Joan Brady, Author The true heart of the caregiver “What an amazing insight into the mind and life of the nurse. That woman or man who goes that extra mile to help those who are scared, ill, and worried. I don't think that there is an area of nursing that this book doesn't address, and I highly recommend this book to those in the medical field especially their loved ones. I especially liked "Nurse", "The Code", and "Night Shift". I could especially relate to each of those poems. Well done Susan Farese! Thank you for exposing this intimate side of nursing. A must read!”-Tommy Anderson-Author/Screenwriter 5 Star Amazon Review The Human Condition in Poetry! “Susan's poetry reflects the most personal moments anyone of us can have when faced with our own health issues, let alone imminent mortality. She touches the heart with "Matters of His Heart" in more ways than one and shares the deep sense of foreboding that a heart attack brings on in both the patient and the family. In "My Friend" the elderly patient evokes a sweet, tender friendship with the nurse who cares for her. My favorite is "Ann's Zest Ends", as she deftly guides us through the stages of Alzheimer's. A wonderful collection of poetic stories we can all relate to on some level!”       -Sue-5 Star Amazon Review Perfect uplifting gift for nurses everywhere “Initially written during the HIV/AIDS epidemic, this poignant and delightful volume, updated with new material, is even more relevant now, one year into the COVID 19 pandemic. Aptly mixing medical lingo with encouragement, understanding and heartfelt tributes for our caregivers, Susan J. Farese captures the art, science, and mystery of the nursing profession. The poem "Caregiver," encouraging nurses to take time to care for themselves, belongs taped to nurses' break room fridges all over America. I will send this book to my niece, a nursing student, for the poems "A Formula for Success" and "Abbreviation Lane." "Nurses Unite!" is the poem that will resonate with my sister-in-law, an overworked hospital pharmacist. I recommend this collection of poetry as a touching gift for anyone who is a nurse, knows a nurse, or will one day be in need for nursing.” - Amazon Customer-5 Star Amazon Review Reliving my nursing career “Loved the poems. Having been in nursing for over 40 years, so many spoke to me. I, as the author so well wrote about, remember specific patients, talking nurse to nurse in “our” language when a family member was hospitalized, in addition to the feelings, smells, sounds, language and monitors in our profession. The poems are truly a reflection about nursing and to those not in nursing an insight into who we are.” Eileen-5 Star Amazon Review
April 26, 2022
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S4. Ep 4. Part 1: Poetic Expressions in Nursing: Sharing the Caring Susan J Farese, MSN, RN

In part 1, we meet Susan J. Farese, MSN, RN, a San Diego and Poet/RN/Veteran and PR Professional who recently published the 2nd edition of (my 1993 book) Poetic Expressions in Nursing: Sharing the Caring in 2021. We learn about her beginnings and where she developed the creative nature for writing. The book is not only for nurses but for those who care about and support them (especially with this pandemic). "Nursing is an incredibly enriching yet stressful profession and besides being a science, it is truly an art. This second edition of Poetic Expressions in Nursing: Sharing the Caring is dedicated to all nurses - past, present, and future. It is a celebration of nursing and a tribute to nurses, especially during this unexpected, unprecedented pandemic. Covid-19 took its toll on nurses during 2020 and hopefully the impact of stress and burnout will be lessened with time and the arts. Poetry can be a therapeutic and cathartic tool for nurses and other caring professions to deal with the angst, stressors or joys that accompany the profession." - Susan J. Farese, MSN, RN You can purchase the book here:
April 19, 2022
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S4. Ep 3. Nurse Burnout with Athol Hann

We join our first Australian nurse, Athol Hann, in his quest to prevent nurse burnout. Athol is a nurse innovator and entrepreneur who built the app Fwards and more recently, Burnout No More courses. Athol has held a variety of rolls in nursing and describes what his experience was like with burnout. As this can occur to many nurses and nurse students, a hightened awareness for burnout is important to learn about from all perspectives. More about Fwards: Fwards: Burnout No More:
April 12, 2022
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S4. Ep 2. Your Nurse Lawyer, Irnise Williams, Esq.

We chat with Irnise Williams, JD, RN in this episode about being a nurse lawyer! Irnise is an experienced nurse and attorney that works with organizations to create systemic change. As a Prosci Change Management Expert, she uses this process to break down the goals of the organization and create sustainable and cost-effective plans of action. Additionally, her training allows executives, leaders, and other stakeholders to manage their fear of change, expand their perspective, discover opportunities, and utilize present resources to get to the intended goal. Irnise uses this process to address Implicit Bias, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, as well as planned structural or cultural changes that may impact large amounts of people within the organization. As a graduate of Howard University and the Howard University School of Law, Irnise serves as an architect of social change for both the clients whom she serves in her private practice, as well as in her organizational training. Irnise hopes to empower more people and organizations to embrace change and use it as a tool to become more effective and efficient. You can learn more about classes, receive her free e-book, network groups and more on her website:
April 5, 2022
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S4. Ep1. Health Equity and Scholarship Opportunity with Geoffrey Roche

We join Geoffrey Roche, current Senior Vice President of Workforce Development at Dignity Health Global Education to learn all about his vast career and current opportunities for nurses to receive scholarship to advance their careers! Geoffrey is a non-nurse with VAST experience in public and government affairs, political determinants of health and strategic services. Geoffrey is very passionate and excited to bring Dignity Health Global Education to the forefront of health professionals who seek advancements by degree or certification with the advantage of scholarship bringing cost significantly down! Learn more here: Check out more of The Virtual Clinical Podcast here:
January 31, 2022
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S3. Ep7. Corporate Nursing with Lexi Jay, MHA, BSN, RN

We join Lexi Jay (aka The Corporate Nurse) in a fabulous conversation surrounding her background as a nurse and what you need to get into corporate nursing. Lexi is an expert in career strategy and is a nurse career coach. She helps bedside nurses obtain corporate positions. With over 15 years of experience in nursing Lexi Jay brings strong foundational expertise to help organizations achieve results. She has consulted with major healthcare systems and companies impacting healthcare globally. Baccalaureate prepared registered nurse, Master in Healthcare Administration and Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing in progress. Expertise in diversity in nursing, corporate nursing and recruitment/retention of BIPOC nurses. Make sure you connect with Lexi on Twitter (@NurseLexiJ) or on Instagram (@TheCorporateNurse) and on her website Additionally, there is a Master Class that you should be signed up for (
October 13, 2021
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S3. Ep6. Entrepreneurship with Kathi Randall, RN, MSN, CNS, NNP-BC

Kathi Randall joins us on this podcast and talks everything from becoming a clinical nurse specialist, nurse practitioner to starting her own business protecting little babies through Synapse Care Solutions. Hear all about her beginnings, work with a level III and IV NICU, Clinical Nurse Researcher, Case Coordinator, and path to starting her own company. Finally, she provides savvy tips for everyone and has many recommendations on how you can become a nurse entrepreneur.
September 22, 2021
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S3. Ep5. A Jungle Gym within Nursing with Sue Richwine, MSN, RN, NE-BC, CCRN-K

We join Sue Richwine in this inspiring and knowledge filled episode. Starting out as a respiratory tech and medical assistant, Sue joined the nursing profession with a preference of community hospitals. She has navigated through her nursing career by exploring her talents, passions and pursuits through curiosity and describes her path of nursing as an active jungle gym. Her career has spanned from clinical staff nurse, house manager, trauma coordinator, chief nurse officer (which she describes as the greatest honor), wound care consultant and educator. We discuss some very useful tips for self-care that may surprise you and our favorite author, Brené Brown and the many gifts that she has brought to our career.
September 9, 2021
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S3. Special Episode Nursing Leadership with Elizabeth Weingast

We join Elizabeth Weingast, senior VP for clinical excellence on her journey as a nurse leader. She has been through all things within a single system. We dig into what it took for her to get there as well as some in's and out's of what leadership is. We are also joined by a colleague in our quest to hit on some special themes leaders may develop.
September 1, 2021
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S3. Ep4. Aromatherapy Nursing and Nursing Research with Juli Reynolds, BSN, RN

Here from the fabulous Juli Reynolds, BSN, RN who had her start before nursing within a church helping people. We take a deep dive into her beginnings as a PACU nurse, as well as how she fell in love with holistic therapies and her certification as an aromatherapist. We discuss her love (as well as my love) for nursing research and what the Institutional Review Board (IRB) means and why they are so important. We discuss how all nurses should be trained by CITI Training ( and how to access and use the IRB to perform studies and eventually publish. Juli describes her new found love in nursing by finding her path with essential oils and the chemistry behind them - including how plants have made our way to modern medicines. She now co-leads the group Essential Oil Nurses, which includes a yearly conference! Learn how to get involved as a PACU nurse as well as how to get involved as a certified aromatherapy nurse. We have a new website! Check out episodes and additional content on
August 10, 2021
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S3. Ep. 3. The Balance of Mental Health and Nursing School with Maddison Gutshall, BSN, RN

We have a new website! Check out episodes and additional content on Join Maddison Gutshall as she joins in on a great talk about her journey navigating through mental illness while attending nursing school, even her journey prior to joining nursing school. This do-not-miss conversation is imperative for anyone looking to attend nursing school but may have reservations about mental illness. Additionally, this episode serves as a heightened awareness to look out for those who may have mental illness and are in nursing school. If you need help for an eating disorder, please contact the National Eating Disorder Association at or at the following numbers. CALL (800) 931-2237 Monday—Thursday 11am—9pm ET Friday 11am—5pm ET Translation services are available on the phone. TEXT (800) 931-2237 Pilot hours: Monday—Thursday 3pm—6pm ET Standard text messaging rates may apply. If you or anyone you know is in need of help, there are resources for you. SAMHSA’s National Helpline, 1-800-662-HELP (4357), (also known as the Treatment Referral Routing Service) or TTY: 1-800-487-4889 is a confidential, free, 24-hour-a-day, 365-day-a-year, information service, in English and Spanish, for individuals and family members facing mental and/or substance use disorders. This service provides referrals to local treatment facilities, support groups, and community-based organizations. Callers can also order free publications and other information. Please visit for more information. An additional and wonderful resource also includes NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness). The NAMI HelpLine can be reached Monday through Friday, 10 a.m.–8 p.m., ET. 1-800-950-NAMI (6264) or [email protected]
July 27, 2021
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S3. Ep2. Virtual Clinical-Student Edition

We have a new website! Check out episodes and additional content on This very special episode was the brain child of senior nursing students who wished to have their last clinical day as a podcast episode. Hear from each as they dive into their favorite cases, some future endeavors for their career and tips and tricks for YOU for a successful clinical experience. Every day you’re using skills to help end substance use disorders (SUD) within your community. The Health Resources and Services Administration is here to help you with the new the STAR LRP (Substance Use Disorder Treatment and Recovery Loan Repayment Program).  Pay off your school loans with up to $250,000 from the STAR LRP in exchange for six years of full-time service at an approved facility. Behavioral health clinicians, paraprofessionals, clinical support staff and many others trained in substance use disorder treatment are encouraged to apply. Applications are open until Thursday, July 22, 2021 at 7:30 p.m. ET. Apply here:
July 19, 2021
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S3. Ep1. Nurses You Should Know with Joanna Uribe MSN, RN and Sandy Cayo DNP, FNP-BC, RN

We have a new website! Check out episodes and additional content on We join Joanna Uribe, a Johnson and Johnson Nurse Innovation Fellow and Sandy Cayo, Vice President of Clinical Transformation and discuss their careers as nurses and most importantly, why they started Nurses You Should Know. Nurses of color have long-shaped the nursing profession and transformed healthcare, but their stories are underrepresented in the broader nursing narrative. A new nurse-led project, “Nurses You Should Know,” is using storytelling to help close the representation gap by amplifying their contributions. The project lives on Medium where you can find out more about some very important historical figures, Black Nursing History, AAPI History and about the future of this project. Every day you’re using skills to help end substance use disorders (SUD) within your community. The Health Resources and Services Administration is here to help you with the new the STAR LRP (Substance Use Disorder Treatment and Recovery Loan Repayment Program).  Pay off your school loans with up to $250,000 from the STAR LRP in exchange for six years of full-time service at an approved facility. Behavioral health clinicians, paraprofessionals, clinical support staff and many others trained in substance use disorder treatment are encouraged to apply. Applications are open until Thursday, July 22, 2021 at 7:30 p.m. ET. Apply here:
July 13, 2021
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S2. Ep11 Marketing Nursing and Addiction Treament with David Sanchez, RN

We join David Sanchez, RN in this very open and transformative episode. David details his beginnings as a nurse with detailing why he became a nurse, his eventual choice of pursuing an associates degree as that didn't seem to fit his mapped out career path. David had always wanted to help people and so, he started his first company, Life Transformation Recovery-a nonprofit addiction treatment center. David details his path of being a Christian, having friends and family addicted to heroin, cocaine and alcohol and helping those find religious identity and obtain sobriety. Clinically, David works as an ER nurse and now runs his second company, Digitalis Medical, a healthcare growth agency. This was born out of the need for individuals to find the recovery center in a very competitive business. David Sanchez is an ER nurse and the founder of 2 companies: Digitalis Medical, a growth agency that helps healthcare organizations be found everywhere online, and Life Transformation Recovery, a nonprofit addiction treatment center. You can learn more about his work and connect with him on LinkedIn.
May 7, 2021
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S2. Ep10. Holistic Nursing with Denise Joswiak, BSN, RN, HNB-BC, CCA

A most wonderful episode with Denise Joswiak! We sit down and discuss all things health and wellness , as well as her journey to holistic nursing and becoming a certified aromatherapist. With her beginnings on why she became a nurse by starting out as a nurse assistant, her journey through nursing school and eventual first job. Denise and I go deep into the nurse as educator, and eventual need to have self-care as an imperative for her patients and her self. Denise dives into Holistic Nursing as a certification recognized by the ANA, Self-care as a crucial step for ourselves and our patients, integrative health and medicine as a part of patient care and the nurse as entrepreneur. This was such a fun and exciting session to record! Denise Joswiak is a board-certified holistic nurse and certified clinical aromatherapist. Throughout her nursing career, she studied holistic, integrative therapies and uses them daily. She created the aromatherapy program for the Allina Health System and published research on its effectiveness in the Journal of Nursing Administration and Complementary Therapies in Medicine. Denise enjoys teaching and empowering patients, families, nurses, and students. At Allina Health, Denise taught classes about self-care and integrative therapies, including Transformative Nurse Training, and sat on the Penny George Institute for Health and Healing Nursing Council. She served as the Integrative Health Clinical Site Lead for United Hospital and as co-facilitator of their Holistic Nursing Council. Denise is an author and international speaker, offering healthcare consultations, essential oil education, and an AHNA endorsed aromatherapy certification program through her company Essential Health. For the past four years, Denise served on the board of the Alliance of International Aromatherapists and continues to act as their global representative. She authored the aromatherapy chapter in the 2020 edition of Holistic Nursing: A Handbook for Practice. Denise volunteers on the American Holistic Nursing Association panel on essential oils for pain relief. She is honored to be a part of the jury reviewing programs that apply for the GattefossĂ© Foundation 2021 international prize for a healthcare-based aromatherapy program. In addition to a passion for holistic health, Denise loves to travel, enjoys canoeing in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness, and cherishes time with family and friends. Links:  [email protected]   Articles:   The effectiveness of nurse-delivered aromatherapy in an acute care setting    Development of a Health System-Based Nurse-Delivered Aromatherapy Program   Aromatherapy Chapter in Handbook: Dossey & Keegan's Holistic Nursing: A Handbook for Practice: A Handbook for Practice 8th Edition
April 21, 2021
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S2. Ep9. Surviving Loss with Shelbi Smith, RN

Shelbi Smith is back in a very special episode. We catch up on life as a student nurse anesthetist and unpack everything 2020 threw in. Shelbi details the most special friendship she has ever had and the enduring nature of illness. We discuss the importance of friendships in a clinical unit, an untimely breast cancer diagnosis, and tell the tales of a very special friend, Kim. The podcast dedicates this episode to Kim Cornelius, RN- one of the most extraordinary individuals and nurses. The podcast would like to thank Shelbi for sharing their story in an effort to help even one person.
April 6, 2021
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S2. Ep8 Nursing Innovation with Briana White, MSN, RN, CPN, CCRN-K, CNL

Our first ever nurse innovator, Briana White, joins the podcast! We talk about taking the road less traveled, home health, camp nursing, IP, big data, and more! Briana starts her journey as a clinical nurse and eventual charge nurse of a pediatric unit. She then transitioned to a clinical nurse educator role, to clinical nurse supervisor and now a role as a home health care manager. Briana even discusses a REALLY cool job as a camp nurse that has a bunch of perks and a lot of lessons learned. Most notably, Briana lends some key points from being a Johnson & Johnson Nurse Innovation Fellow, ideation, why ideas and concepts matter and so much more! She is currently using her fellowship opportunity to implement her DNP project of innovative tools to improve communication and clinical outcomes! Briana White is a Johnson & Johnson Nurse Innovation Fellow, A DNP student at the University of New Hampshire, adjunct nursing undergraduate and graduate faculty and a Home Health Care Manager with the Visiting Nurse and Hospice for Vermont and New Hampshire – a member of Dartmouth Hitchcock Health. She has clinical experience from pediatrics to geriatrics, from inpatient, ambulatory, and most recently home care. She has worked as a clinical bedside nurse, a nurse educator, a nurse leader, and in her current role works to improve care of patients in the home setting through quality improvement, evidence-based practice and innovation. Her innovation work is focusing on creating a framework for introducing innovation in homecare settings through rapid review of key performance indicators, and her Doctoral work is focusing on implementing innovative tools to improve communication and clinical outcomes of patients in the homecare setting who have chronic conditions. She is passionate about sharing the various settings nurses work in not bound by hospital walls, working with the community to enhance care, and mentoring others interested in innovation.
March 30, 2021
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S2. Ep7 Tele ICU Nursing with Candice Craig, BSN, RN, CCRN-E and Tracey Kopenhaver, MSN, RN, CCRN-K, NE-BC.

We join both Candice Craig and Tracey Kopenhaver, from a large telehealth organization to discuss the in's and out's of E-ICU nursing. We first deep dive in to both person's background and experience. Then go into learning what E-ICU nursing is, how it helps both the nurse and the organization, what helps and what hinders, how assessments are done, even some very neat tricks that E-ICU's can do! Learn about how effective communication is met, how and E-ICU affect staffing models and what an E-ICU staffing model looks like, myths from reality, caregiver fatigue, and where is tele-health going? Candice Craig is certified as a CCRN and has her Diploma from Schuylkill Health School of Nursing, her Bachelor's of Nursing from Penn State University and will soon have a combined Master's in Nurse Administration and Master's of Business Administration from Bloomsburg University. She has experience in neuroscience critical care, heart and vascular critical care, clinical coordination and an RN of an E-ICU. She currently serves as an Administrative Team Coordinator for a large telehealth unit. Tracey Kopenhaver is certified as a CCRN-K and NE-BC. She has both her Bachelor's and Master's of Nursing from Mansfield University. Tracey has experience in mixed critical care nursing, travel nursing, a cath lab, a team coordinator, clinical coordinator and educator of an E-ICU, nurse manager for a large tele-health system. She is currently an Operations Manager for a large E-ICU and CICU.
March 23, 2021
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S2. Ep6 Travel Nursing During a Pandemic with Amanda Readinger, BSN, RN

In this episode, I'm joined by Amanda Readinger, a nurse who details her journey from bedside nurse to travel nurse. Beginning with a career in psych mental health, choosing to leave the bedside to find ways of paying off student debt, Amanda then decided to make travel nursing a full time job. We discuss all of the in's and out's of travel nursing including financing, health insurance, job security, and training. Amanda then left to go and travel to California to take a job working the COVID ICU's. The differences between report styles of COVID ICU patients and non-COVID ICU patients; the donning and doffing process; the teamwork of a COVID ICU unit; the mental exhaustion, stresses and challenges of working in two California major cities-Amanda details this journey of the red zone in Los Angeles. What a crisis team is and why not everyone would receive care if the pandemic grows out of proportion. Amanda graciously describes her feelings of what her experience was like and what burnout meant to her. Finally, Amanda discusses her next journey which is to be a Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner! Amanda graduated from Wilkes University in 2013 with a bachelors in psychology. After working a couple years as a mental health technician, she realized she had an interest in nursing. She attended DeSales University’s accelerated BSN program and graduated in 2017. She went directly into ICU nursing and worked as a staff nurse for two years before going into travel nursing. She currently has been in PA, CA and CT while attending Walden University for her Masters to be a psychiatric nurse practitioner. When she isn’t proning patients and there isn’t a pandemic surrounding us, she enjoys Broadway shows, concerts, playing with her puppy and putting together LEGO sets with her fiancé, Stewart.
March 16, 2021
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S2. Ep5 Midwifery, Psych Mental Health and Vulnerability with Dr. Diane Solomon PhD, PMHNP-BC, CNM

Join in on this episode with Dr. Diane Solomon as she details her journey and unpacks everything in this gracious episode. Discussions include the ABCDE's of self-care; experiences on a Navajo reservation and earning trust amongst the tribe; the importance of the mother-daughter dyad; what life is really like as a midwife with long hours and often stressful moments; the impact of cultural diversity among blacks and indigenous people; cultural privilege and the importance of checking yourself; de-escalation techniques and the importance of being trauma-informed. Finally, a shout-out to Lyndsey Miller on Individual Care Values and Autonomy and why it is so important to network! Dr. Solomon originally received her Master of Science in Nursing from Yale, becoming a Certified Nurse-Midwife devoted to women’s empowerment and health. After two decades of practice, she returned to Oregon Health & Sciences University for her Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner post-master’s certificate. Dr. Solomon also holds a certificate in psychoanalytic psychotherapy and a PhD in Nursing, the latter focused on healing family relationships in the context of aging. With a private psychiatric practice in Portland, she is honored to help clients heal and thrive, from trauma to joy. Dr. Solomon is also a health policy advocate, promoting the NP role and NP solution to primary and behavioral healthcare through systems-level change, engagement, action, and collaboration. She volunteers as adjunct faculty at OHSU, on the Boards of Oregon Nurses Association, Nurse Practitioners of Oregon, and the Oregon Wellness Program, and in other ways to enrich the lives and well-being of others. Follow her on Twitter: @DianeSolomonOR
March 2, 2021
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S2 Ep4 Long-Term Care in Canada with Daniela Acosta, RN, GNC (C), BScN, BSc

Find out why long-term care may be the best kept secret in nursing practice as the podcast's welcome's its first Canadian nurse- Daniela Acosta! Daniela discusses some differences between the United States and Canadian health care as well as what it is like working in long-term care. She is passionate about long term care as well as quality improvement and best practice implementation. Discussion points include building trust, talking to people, clinical skill challenges, team nursing staffing, care plans, burnout and a spiritual health advisor, and the 8 A's of Dementia. Finally, we go into her venture, Vibrant Nurse which aims to be a blend of nursing and leadership including sharing leadership skills for outcomes and how to achieve during the pandemic. Daniela Acosta RN, GNC (C), BScN, BSc, CEO of Vibrant Nurse. Daniela is a nursing practice leader in long-term care at one of the largest and most innovative long-term care facilities in the province of Ontario, Canada. Since graduating, with Dean’s honours, from the University of Toronto in 2012, she has dedicated her entire career to senior’s care as well as quality improvement and best practice implementation. Daniela is an advocate for highlighting the importance of registered nursing roles in long-term care and the importance of embracing leadership skills in nursing. This passion has since inspired her to create Vibrant Nurse, a social media community and online business (in their beginning stages) that support general nursing leadership and raise awareness of nursing opportunities in long-term care. Find her on instagram: @vibrantnurse or via her website:
February 23, 2021
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S2 Ep3 Population Health and Implementation Science with Lori Merkel, PhD, MSPH, RN, CPHQ

We join Lori Merkel in a fact filled episode that takes us from a lego replica of Baby Yoda (yes, we know it's not really a baby), to her days beginning in psychology, first job as a high risk neonatal nurse and eventual job as a quality specialist. She then describes some very neat areas of nursing that are often unexplored including a job in Population Health Sciences. We explore many topics including health economics, care delivery models, health equity, implementation research and so much more. She even interviews myself at the end! Lori obtained her BA in Psychology, minor in Biology from Rutgers University then pursued her nursing degree (BSN) at Drexel University. She has obtained her Masters of Science in Public Health from Pennsylvania State University. Lori has held a certification in High Risk Neonatal Nursing and presently is a Certified Professional in Healthcare Quality. She most recently has completed her PhD at Jefferson University in Population Health Sciences with a concentration in Healthcare Quality and Safety. In her current role, she is a nurse and population health analyst in an academic primary care network as well as an adjunct professor at Jefferson University.
February 16, 2021
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S2 Ep2 Unique experiences and time in Uganda with Jenn Martin, CRNP, RN

In this laugh filled episode, I join Jenn Martin, CRNP as she details so much about nursing. Jenn and I worked together first during her time as a travel nurse and quickly bonded over so much. She shares her experiences, the highs and lows, of travel nursing and what it's like in different parts of the country. Jenn also has traveled to and helped educate those in Uganda, in an experience, as she describes, one of her most formative and shifting, in life and career. We unpack a lot during this episode and hope you enjoy the conversation as much as we did!
February 9, 2021
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S2 Ep 1 Compassionate Care and Adult ADHD with Kirsten Peterson, BSN, RN

In this episode, Kirsten Peterson joins the podcast to discuss her journey. From following her passion for Tennis to attend Wheaton College (Illinois) and studying Sociology with a minor in Spanish, to a passion in criminology, Kirsten found her path to become a nurse as well as the perfect program within Eastern University. Kirsten has lived and worked in various places including Austin, TX, Hershey, PA, Chicago, IL and Boston, MA. She currently works as a hospice nurse in the community of the western suburbs of Chicago for Seasons Hospice. Before coming to hospice she worked in a Neuro ICU at Central Dupage hospital in Winfield IL, and previous to that worked as a trauma med-surg nurse at Penn State Medical Center. Her first job was spinal cord injury unit at St. Davids Rehab Hospital in downtown Austin, Texas. We discuss everything from these beginnings, to following your spiritual calling and finding faith in nursing as well as exploring different paths and finding your purpose in nursing. Most importantly, we discuss what it is like having Adult ADHD and working as a nurse. Discussions of tactics to handle ADHD, what anxiety is like for two different people and the commonalities that exist. Finally, we go in detail of what compassionate care means and how to deliver it. This is a great conversation for any nurse that sees patients at the various stages of life.
February 2, 2021
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S1 Ep12 Nurse Anesthesia 101 with Ryan Statton, Hilary Martino and Dan Martino- CRNA's.

Today's chat is with Nurse Anesthesia 101 Founders, Ryan Statton, Dan and Hilary Martino. In this episode, we chat about everything Nursing anesthesia has to offer! Starting from each nurses beginnings and their respective first degrees, why the each pursued nursing, their first jobs and how long each stayed within their respective job role before going into nurse anesthesia. They discuss really important hot topics such as their experiences with school selection, the importance of clinical choices, what the nursing school interview is like and how to prepare as well as what is needed to help stand out for nurse anesthesia school. Finally, we discuss where to find Nurse Anesthesia 101 and how to join! Facebook Nurse Anesthesia 101 Page: Facebook Nurse Anesthesia 101 Group: About Ryan Ryan obtained his Master’s in Anesthesiology from Barry University and began practice as a CRNA in 2015. Ryan is one of the most sought-after preceptors in his anesthesia group due to his knowledge base, critical care intuition, communication skills, and passion to educate. On any given shift, Ryan is educating nurse anesthesia students from both AdventHealth University and Florida State University. The opportunity to develop a supportive platform, which caters to nurses and nursing students, fits seamlessly into Ryan’s strengths as an educator and mentor. Ryan regularly offers job shadowing to both ICU nurses and nursing students. Watching ICU nurses that have shadowed him reach their full potential as CRNAs was the defining impetus that led to the development of Nurse Anesthesia 101. The opportunities that exist within the Nurse Anesthesia 101 platform offer tangible benefits to Ryan’s clients. His ability to impart clarity is a vital component of his leadership expertise. Prior to pursuing a degree in nursing, Ryan studied engineering at Virginia Tech, and designed specifications and marketing for a publicly traded IT business. Ryan’s interest in nurse anesthesia was the reason he made the pivotal career move into nursing. Having grown up in a family of nurses and healthcare professionals, Ryan learned of the CRNA profession and made this vital decision before taking his first pre-requisite nursing class. When Ryan is not in the operating room, you might find him boating, fishing, hiking, or camping with his wife Sam and their six children. He also loves traveling with Sam, teaching his children how to DIY, and hosting special events with friends and family. About Dan: Dan is an experienced nurse anesthetist, entrepreneur and integral to the success of Nurse Anesthesia 101. His passions include elevating and transforming the nurse anesthesia profession through a multitude of entrepreneurial endeavors. After a decade in the operating room he feels compelled to support qualified students and nurses in their pursuit of the coveted nurse anesthesia title. Shaped by thousands of hours precepting students in every speciality CRNAs practice within, Dan knows what truly is required for nurses to find success in anesthesia. His previous marketing and public relations career allows him to identify audience desires and apply Nurse Anesthesia 101’s mission to their professional goals. Connecting with nursing students and nurses passionately seeking higher education in the anesthesia arena drives Dan’s pursuit of continuing a family-instilled value of helping others. Dan holds a MSN in Nurse Anesthesia from the Florida Hospital College of Health Sciences and a BS in Public Relations from the University of Florida. Outside of the operating room he can usually be found adventuring with his wife Hilary, coaching their sons' baseball team, relentlessly growing business endeavors with Ryan and exploring the beautiful waterways of Florida on his boat “Rapid Sequence.”
August 28, 2020
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S1 Ep11 OR Nursing with Alexis Johncola, BSN, RN

I join Alexis, who is our first recent BSN graduate on the podcast. In this episode we discuss her experience of starting out in a baccalaureate nursing program and clinical experience. We discuss important tips for the interview process for your first job, preparing questions, choices for interview clothing, and other tips for surviving your day. We move onto what her experience has been like as an OR nurse, learning the specialty from day 1 of hire, the different roles of an OR nurse, how COVID affected this experience by shifting her learning to being a floor nurse as well as the Gift of Life Organ Donation process and how important the role is for the RN. Finally, Alexis discusses her methods of journaling as a way of reducing stress.  Alexis Johncola B.S.N., RN is a 2019 graduate from the Pennsylvania State University, College of Nursing. She started her first nursing job in October of 2019 as an Operating Room nurse at St. Mary Medical Center in Langhorne, PA. When she is not circulating or scrubbing in the Operating Room, she enjoys day trips to the beach, spending time with family, and trying new foods!
August 13, 2020
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S1 Ep10 Dialysis Nursing with Alayna Laranjo, ADN, RN

In this episode, I join Alayna Laranjo who is a Dialysis Nurse and in Dialysis clinical care for 9 years. We talk about her upbringing as a fire fighter and upbringing in healthcare as an EMT, Medic and 911 Dispatcher. We talk all things from preparing for a mass casualty, teaching classes, and even receiving a call that lead to the birth of twins! We then move into how she became a Certified Clinical Hemodialysis Technician, as well as the importance of a longer orientation and continual learning environment. Moving into her career as a nurse became a passion for wanting to do more for the patients she was taking care of. We also detail the daily life of a dialysis nurse, what her 5am-2pm shift is like, and how important wellness is for nurses. Alayna started out her career in the emergency medical services as an EMT for 6 years, a medic for 10 years and 911 dispatcher for 7 years. She even taught EMT classes for 2 years. Alayna decided to change careers and started out in a dialysis clinic that lead her to become a Certified Clinical Hemodialysis Technician. She eventually decided to attend nursing school and graduated with her Associates Degree in Nursing in 2012. She has been with the same dialysis company for 9 years and has a thorough passion for dialysis patients and dialysis nursing. Alayna is about to graduate with her BSN and will eventually pursue her Master’s in Nursing Leadership in the fall. In her personal time, she is a softball umpire, triathlete, and raises her children in the town of Troy, NY.
August 3, 2020
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S1 Ep9 Nursing and Surviving Covid with Frank Stickler II, ASN, RN, CNRN, CCRN

I join Frank Stickler in this episode to talk all things nursing since his departure from Hershey, PA to colorful Colorado! We dive into his experiences working while attending school, what working night shift was like, some unique things about working at a Primary Stroke Center as opposed to a Comprehensive Stroke Center and some interesting times treating patients with toxicities! Moving along, is his current role in a Neuroscience Critical Care Unit, what is was like to have and survive Covid-19 and what is next for Frank! Frank started as a CNA in 2008 at Good Samaritan Hospital in Lebanon, PA while in high school. He worked full-time night shift as CNA at HMC while going to nursing school. Frank was apart of the last graduating class of Lancaster General College of Nursing and Health Sciences (now Pennsylvania College of Health Sciences) and received his ASN in 2013. He is only 4 weeks away from achieving his BSN from the University of Texas. Frank has worked in Neuroscience for several years with experience in Neuro/Stroke/Tox/Medicine and Neurocritical Care. He is currently a Neuroscience Critical Care RN at the University of Colorado Hospital where he serves as a charge nurse, preceptor, recourse RN, educator and nerd for anything neuro. Frank is also a personal colleague of mine who has survived COVID-19. He currently lives in Centennial, Colorado with his partner, Mike, dog and 2 cats.
July 13, 2020
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S1 Ep8 Neuroimmunology Nurse Practitioner with Ashley Kundravi, MSN, CRNP

Ashley Kundravi joins me in this episode to discuss her experience on what it was like to become a family nurse practitioner. We detail her beginnings as a Biology major and eventual 2nd degree student at the University of Delaware, to her first job in a community hospital and what challenges those brought, what applying to nurse practitioner school was like for Ashley, the challenges of nurse practitioner school including finding preceptors, a new and exciting gig in a neuroimmunology clinic that primarily treats patients with multiple sclerosis. This very informative episode discusses everything from school to new medications that patients are taking and why multiple sclerosis is a tricky disease. She offers tips for patients on supplements and hits on the importance of decreasing stress in your life. This is a wonderful episode for the student nurse and the patient alike. Ashley in a CRNP with Hershey Medical Center’s neuroimmunology division. She graduated from university of Delaware with her BA in biology in 2010, and her BSN in 2012. She complete her MSN at Millersville University in 2017. When not at work, Ashley enjoys knitting and spending time with her pets.
June 26, 2020
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S1 Ep7 Post Stroke with Lauren Landis, ASN, RN

This is a very special episode! I sit down with Lauren Landis to discuss her career and most importantly, how she was a nurse on the same unit that her dad received stroke care. We talk about Lauren's unique background, safe staffing ratios and what her first job was like and spend a majority of time discussing her father, whom suffered a stroke. This case is presented as a case study with knowledge about risk factors, how important an a1c is, what a large vessel stroke means, what neurointerventional care entails and so, so, much more. Lauren describes her experience as a nurse going through tough choices, with appreciation of her prior coworkers and how it is okay to change an environment to better one's own mental health to better care for patients. Lauren's bravery to share this story is not one to pass along-it is a must listen! Lauren is a 2016 graduate of Penn State Mont Alto. She began her career on a Med-Surg Neuro unit before stepping into the world of critical care. Her current area of work is in surgical/trauma intensive care, though she will always have a place in her heart for Neurocritical care patients. She received the Daisy Award in 2017 and a token of recognition by Gift of Life Donor Program for the nursing care of an organ donor in 2019. When Lauren isn’t donning/doffing PPE, doing Q1hr neuro checks, or replacing electrolytes, you can find her cooking new recipes, napping away the nightshift hangover, or playing video games with her fiancé, Joshua.
June 20, 2020
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S1 Ep6 Finding Purpose with an Open Heart with Anne Calhoun BS, BSN, RN

We dig DEEP on this episode with Anne Calhoun. Join in with this episode as we discuss how Anne started her career as a nurse, from failing organic chemistry four times, her adventures as a paramedic to her beginnings as a nurse in a neonatal ICU. We discuss so many important things such as:  Being able to find your strengths within ICU nursing Why each of us packs an emotional backpack and why that is not the best method of releasing stress Why the simple things for patient care matter Why practicing self-forgiveness matters Getting to know the human in each person Three special methods of helping to reduce stress including Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing Why practicing with an open heart is such an important piece as a nurse  About Anne: Anne graduated from nursing school in 2002 as a 2nd degree student because her organic chemistry grades weren't good enough to get into Med school (seriously). She moved to nursing after 5 years as a paramedic, and took a job in the Neonatal ICU. She spent 12 years at the bedside, and 3 years as a Nurse Educator in that unit until she left the hospital to work as a holistic educator full time from home. Anne is passionate about caring for people with a wide open heart. She loves helping people to trust their intuition and learn about the root causes of their symptoms. Anne lives in Michigan with her husband and 3 kids.
June 12, 2020
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S1 Ep5 From Diploma to Coordinator and Everything In Between with Morgan Boyer MPH, RN, NVRN-BC, CNRN, SCRN, CTC

Enjoy this laugh filled and jam packed episode with Morgan Boyer. We discuss her start in the science world with a passion and goal of benchmark laboratory science that spanned a dairy farm and chicken farm with quality assurance roles, to an eventual move into a diploma nursing program at Reading Hospital. We detail some of the differences between working in different organizations such as a rehabilitation hospital, community hospital and Magnet/comprehensive stroke, level 1 trauma center. Morgan tells stories and shares her experiences in both a neuroscience unit as well as Interventional Radiology including what to look out for in your co-workers and why a team aspect is so important. We then transition into telehealth and telestroke as well as hospital finances, the difference between a for-profit and not for-profit hospital, where telehealth may be going in the future and Morgan's new role as a stroke and sepsis coordinator. She also provides excellent tips for new nurses along the way! Morgan is a non-traditional nurse with her early career spent in laboratory science in research and quality assurance. She became a registered nurse in 2009 and began working in a cardiac progressive care unit at a local community hospital. She then transitioned to the Neuroscience Integrated Care Unit at Penn State Health where her passion for the complex and unique neuroscience patient was uncovered. Her career then transitioned to interventional radiology and had the opportunity to participate as a procedural nurse in acute interventions. Her path changed with an opportunity to expand and support PSH’s telestroke program as a coordinator. During this opportunity, she was able to expand her skills in process and quality improvement with research skills. She supported 18 partner community hospitals via education and collaboration. During this journey, she obtained her BSN, and, eventual Master’s in Public Health. Once she completed her degree, she accepted a role as a Neuroscience Project Manager for a 5 hospital health system. Currently, she is a Clinical Program Coordinator for Stroke and Sepsis for Penn State Health St. Joseph Medical Center. Morgan has certifications in Neurovascular Nursing, Neuroscience Nursing, Stroke Nursing and as a Certified Telehealth Coordinator.
May 27, 2020
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S1 Ep4 Nursing Informatics with Lisa Robinson, MSN, RN

Get in the know about nursing informatics and why this nursing specialty niche is an exciting, and growing, endeavor. We join Lisa Robinson, a clinical nurse informaticist, and learn about how data is being used to help drive improvements in nursing care and why interoperability between many different factors is crucial. Topics include knowledge of nursing informatics, evaluation of nursing documentation, value added data, and nurse decision making in the pathway of data --> information --> knowledge --> wisdom. This first person exclusive offers focus on how to boost the management of information and communications in the field of nursing. Specifically how a nursing informaticist specializes in the facilitation of data integration, information and knowledge so that better care is provided to support patients, nurses, other health care providers and other individuals in a patients care. About Lisa: she is currently a Clinical Informatics Nurse on the PSH Information Services Optimization and Interoperability team. She has over 30 years of clinical experience in various adult ICU's and over 6 years experience as an informatics nurse. Lisa earned her Diploma in Nursing from Lancaster General School of Nursing & ADN from Franklin & Marshal College in 1985; BSN from Slippery Rock in 2015 and an MSN in Nursing Informatics from Walden University in 2019. She has presented nationally at the Cerner Conference and ANCC Magnet Conference, has a certificate in sign language interpretation. She has served as a preceptor, charge nurse and Chair of the Nursing Practice Council. Lisa is an active member of the American Nursing informatics Association.
May 20, 2020
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S1 Ep3 CRNA School with Shelbi Smith, BSN, RN, CCRN

Get the inside scoop of what it takes and exactly what it is like to be in CRNA school. We discuss the interview process, work/life balance, finding the right program, tips on amplifying your application, necessary experience, the importance of the GRE/certification in your field, what a shadow day consists of and what her first intubation was like. We then go into some of Shelbi's most important lessons of being an ICU nurse, her worst days, some of her best days and what it is like to treat someone that is in the dying process-a very important and tough clinical skill to learn. Student's ask questions in this info packed session! Shelbi earned her ADN from HACC in 2003 and then her BSN from California University of PA in 2016. She is certified as a CCRN and while working at Penn State Hershey was on the clinical ladder as a clinical ladder IV. Her first job was at Holy Spirit Hospital MICU from 2003-2006 and then worked for Hershey Med in the Neuro ICU from 2006-2019. She has served as a preceptor, charge nurse and was involved in several councils including quality of worklife, practice council and nursing professional practice council. She is also a former board member of the regional AACN Chapter, The Susquehanna Valley Chapter of the AACN. She is one of the best ICU nurses I have ever learned from and is one of the reasons I am so detailed oriented in my care. She is now a student (CRNA/DNP) at York College of PA.
May 13, 2020
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S1 Ep2 Nursing Research with Kevin Gardner, Jr. RN, BA, BSN, CEN, CCRC

In this episode, we chat with Kevin Gardner. Kevin is a close friend and colleague and has a unique background to learn from. We discuss why Kevin became a nurse, what was his first nursing job and why he chose such a specialty. His eventual departure from emergency medicine and into heart and vascular nursing and finally into his current role as a clinical research trials coordinator. Kevin has a passion for positivity and also brings with him his experiences of leadership with a unique strategy shared in which he learned from the Boy Scouts. Finally, Kevin goes into the levels of evidence ( and why they are so important for nursing. Other notes include the importance for a nursing model of research within the hospital; utilizing a healthy amount of clinical inquiry; why the Institutional Review Board matters when doing a project of any type; what to possibly expect with your first trauma patient; why it is important to learn how to handle death and more. Kevin Gardner is the Manager of Clinical Research Operations for Heart and Vascular Trials. Focusing of the advancement of heart and vascular medicine and patient safety, Gardner oversees two teams of clinical research professionals who prepare, direct, and coordinate over 60 clinical research projects (over 25 investigator-initiates studies and over 35 sponsored clinical trials). Gardner is a certified emergency nurse by the Board of Certification for Emergency Nursing and certified clinical research coordinator Academy of Clinical Research Professionals. Gardner has served two terms as President of Central Northeast Pennsylvania Chapter of the Association of Clinical Research Professionals and served as Chair of the Nursing Research and Evidenced-Based Practice Council at Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center. As Chair, Gardner introduced a journal club that allows the council to provide evidenced-based practice recommendations. Gardner co-authored an article in Applied Nursing Research, “Implementing and Sustaining Evidence Based Practice through a Nursing Journal Club,” (2016) to share the success of the journal club. Gardner is currently working on a master’s degree in clinical research operations and management.
May 8, 2020
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S1 Ep1 Pediatrics with Laura Kruger, BSN, RN, CPN

Laura is a certified pediatric nurse who currently works as a school nurse in a large elementary school with a population of 416 children. She attended Delaware County Community College and graduated with her nursing degree in 2017. She has a total of about 15 years’ experience in healthcare including working for CHOP for 7 years. Five of those years were as a medical assistant, one year as a staff nurse and lastly as a nurse manager. She wanted to branch out to a different sub-specialty within pediatrics and found school nursing to be a good fit especially with her 10 year old son. Pediatrics is a rewarding field and where she's found her home in nursing. In this episode, I ask Laura questions pertinent to her nursing career to find out more. My students ask questions as well. Originally recorded on zoom, this episode offers an inside look at what it's like to be a pediatric nurse in a clinic, as a nurse manager of a clinic and also as a school nurse. Enjoy!
May 6, 2020
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About The Virtual Clinical Podcast

The Virtual Clinical podcast is a new podcast to support the #studentnurse. Hosted by Nicole Sunderland a registered nurse, inspired by actual students, this podcast combines Q&A, mentorship and storytelling to support you on your journey.


Nicole Sunderland

Nicole Sunderland

Nicole Sunderland is a nurse, international speaker, innovator, entrepreneur, essential oil expert and wellness advocate. BA in Philosophy from La Salle, BSN from West Chester, MSN from Gonzaga and two specialty certifications in stroke nursing and critical care nursing. Nicole has been involved in neuroscience since 2006 in various settings including traumatic brain injury rehab, step down neuroscience care and adult critical care.

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