How One Man Used His Military Training to Become a Nurse Manager
The bond that military veterans share is like no other. So when a former U.S. Army infantry medic and licensed practical nurse (LPN) found his niche that combined military life and healthcare and decided to turn it into a rewarding career, he chose American Sentinel University’s military-friendly online Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) program to strengthen his nursing career trajectory.
Jeff Berendsen, 41, Brunswick, Ohio plans to earn the credentials he needs to achieve his goal of becoming a nurse manager of the surgical recovery unit at Louis Stokes Cleveland VA Medical Center.
“I wanted an accredited university and a program that would benefit me in my job,” he says. “American Sentinel was the right choice.”
“Obtaining his BSN will prepare Jeff for advancement in his nursing career at the VA Center,” says Karen Whitham, EdD, RN, CNE, assistant dean, undergraduate nursing programs at American Sentinel University. “A BSN will prepare Jeff to integrate nursing theory and evidence-based practice into his daily nursing activities. More importantly, since the VA, in particular, looks at the academic credential for promotion, having his BSN will play a key role in preparing him for his future career as a nurse manager.”
Landing a Job He Loves
After landing a job at Louis Stokes Cleveland VA Medical Center in 2009, where he continues to work in surgical recovery nursing, Berendsen knew he wanted to deepen his knowledge and advance his career there. “I knew that I wanted my career to be at the VA and to move up in this system you need a bachelor’s or master’s degree,” he says.
He was awarded a scholarship from the VA and began to search for the right online university. “I needed a program where I could go at my own pace. Finding the right fit and culture of an online university now became part of my journey.”
Destination American Sentinel University
After just one phone call, Berendsen knew American Sentinel was the right fit for him.
“When I talked to an advisor, I knew this was the place for me,” he says. “Every single advisor I’ve had has been fantastic. I love the courses, the class structure, and the class pace, and I appreciate that American Sentinel is a military friendly university, but the advisors are what have made the difference.”
American Sentinel designs its curriculum for maximum learning. The classes are eight weeks long and start monthly, so students have the freedom to manage their schedules at a pace that works best for their busy family and work life. Student support services help students be self-sufficient and thrive in an academic setting.
Starting college as a 41-year-old and as a husband and a father of two elementary-age children, Berendsen had plenty of hurdles to overcome. “The program can be a lot of hard work, and I was terrified of the computer at first,” he says. “My life is very busy, but the student support services at American Sentinel helped a great deal.”
Berendsen’s student success advisor, Sara Moulton, says that he had a natural ability to balance his professional, educational and personal life so her role was to respect his time and provide friendly reminders to keep him on track.
“My relationship with Jeff is built on trust, and he knew he could turn to me if he needed direction,” she says. “As Jeff’s advocate, I knew he was balancing a very busy life and how important it was to answer his questions and concerns quickly so he could move forward more successfully.”
Next Stop: Nursing Management
Berendsen has one class left to complete his BSN and then he plans to take a short break before he begins the next phase of his education in American Sentinels’ graduate program – MSN, nursing management and organizational leadership specialization to achieve his goal of becoming the nurse manager of the surgical recovery unit where he currently works.
“I’m a lifer here,” he admits. “With my military background, coming to work here has been the right decision. There’s a certain bond that military veterans have with one another – like a brotherhood. Being a vet taking care of other vets is a great feeling.”
American Sentinel University’s online graduate nursing programs were recently recognized as one of the nation’s best online graduate nursing programs in the 2015 U.S. News & World Reportrankings of public and private universities. In addition, the university was recognized by Military Advanced Education (MAE) as a top school supporting the military community in its 2015 MAEGuide to Colleges & Universities.
Dubai's new smart neuro spinal hospital: need to know
We take a look at Dubai's new smart hospital.
What: The Neuro Spinal Hospital and Radiosurgery Centre is a new hospital featuring state-of-the-art technology for spinal, neurosurgical, neurological, orthopaedic, radiosurgery and cancer treatments. The 700 million AED hospital, (equivalent to £138 million), has 114 beds, smart patient rooms, and green spaces for patient rehabilitation, and is four times the capacity of its former premises in Jumeirah. It is also the UAE’s first hospital to have surgical robots.
Where: The hospital is located in the Dubai Science Park. Founded in 2005, Dubai Science Park is home to more than 350 companies from multinational corporations in life sciences, biotechnology and research; over 4,000 people work here each day.
Who: The UAE's Neuro Spinal Hospital and Radiosurgery Centre was first established in Jumeirah in 2002 by Dr. Abdul Karim Msaddi, as the first as the first "super-specialty" neuroscience hospital.
Why: With advanced diagnosis and robotics, the hospital will provide care across neuroscience, spine, orthopaedics and oncology for people residing in the UAE, as well as international patients.
Prof. Abdul Karim Msaddi, Chairman and Medical Director of the hospital, said: “We are proud to bring world-class healthcare services to Dubai and believe our next-generation hospital will be a game-changer for the emirate’s and the region’s medical industry.
"It will not only significantly increase the availability of specialist neuroscience and radiosurgery treatments and provide better patient care but help attract and develop local and international talent. Investing in the new centre represents our continued faith in the resilience of the region’s economy, as well as a testament to our ongoing drive towards healthcare innovation in the UAE.”