Thank you, from the Southern Nevada State VA Home
Every single one of our partners are amazing and great to work with, but sometimes the Partnerships Team has to work a little harder to keep things running smoothly.
This past semester, Julie Janke from the Partnerships team was working with a new partner to find a way to have learners do their rotations in the Veterans Administration (VA) Home in Las Vegas. It took a lot of effort and extra steps to even get learners in the door of the VA Home, because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The administrator of the VA Home had a passion to make the facility a teaching nursing home, but his first priority had to be the safety of his residents.
In order to pursue both goals, he met with his staff several times to determine what procedures should be mandated for learners from Nightingale College to safely enter the VA Home and perform rotations. They settled on full PPE gear and weekly COVID testing, which the RN learners found a way to make happen—while they wanted to complete their rotations, they also have a passion for keeping their patients as safe as possible.
Beyond the hard work put in on the front end to make it possible for the learners to perform their rotations at the VA Home in Las Vegas, they had an amazing instructor at Nightingale: Professor Dexter Abraham. Every time he conducted his pre and post conferences with his learners, he emphasized the importance of not just doing a good job with patients but connecting with the people they are serving. He does his best to instill in his learners the values of caring and showing compassion for patients and making a positive impact in their lives.
Through their time at the VA Home and with Professor Abraham, the RN learners internalized caring for their patients and going the extra mile. On their rotations, they went out of their way to show empathy to the elderly residents in the Home, and be as helpful as possible to the CNAs there.
The learners took the lessons they had learned about compassion to heart and went the extra mile on their last day on rotation at the VA Home. They bought small but meaningful activities like puzzles and coloring books to gift to the residents, and spent time doing the activities and enriching their lives. They understood how hard it can be for a resident of a long-term facility and wanted to give these residents something special as a parting gift.
The administrator of the home was so impressed with the learners he sent a thank you letter to Nightingale’s Partnerships team, letting Julie know just how much this effort was appreciated. He told her that their residents were fortunate to have such people in their lives.
After reading the note, tears were shed among the Partnership team to know that this partnership has made a difference not just in the lives of our learners, but with the people at the VA Home as well.
Nursing is a calling. It’s about wanting to give back and finding meaningful ways to do so. This is what the learners in Las Vegas demonstrated for the residents of the VA Home this semester.
A special thanks to our learners and faculty for showing us what the nursing profession is all about.
An especially big thank you to our partners who make Nightingale’s presence possible.