Students in the Spotlight
2015 UMaine Servant Heart Scholarship winner: Rachael Mahar
Rachael Mahar received a 2015 Servant Heart Scholarship for exceptional community service. The scholarship “benefits students who connect public service with their academic work and who apply practical solutions to real world problems.” Rachael is a 3rd-year nursing student in the BSN program with a minor in Women’s Gender and Sexuality Studies. The scholarship committee selected Rachael because of her impressive academic record in a notably rigorous program in addition to her community service. Rachael volunteers with the Next Step Domestic Violence Project which serves individuals and families affected by domestic abuse in Washington and Hancock Counties. She also has had international health experiences with teams of UMaine nursing students who travelled to Belize (2014) and to Costa Rica (2015) to provide much-needed medical care in rural communities. Rachael says “Community has been a major part of my upbringing. I was raised in a small tightly knit community in Downeast Maine. I give credit to my home for teaching me the lessons that have made me successful thus far.” Rachael aspires to working with the Peace Corps as a nurse upon completion of her nursing education.
The UMaine School of Nursing is proud to showcase the 4 BSN graduates who have excelled in their rigorous military training as well as in the nursing program. They have had the advantage of exceptionally fine preparation in nursing, leadership and overall fitness through their campus-based ROTC programs and through precepted clinical experiences at military medical centers in the summer before their senior year. These individuals will be commissioned as officers in the U.S. Armed Services in May 2015:
Kai Hermansen, Army ROTC nurse cadet, will be commissioned as Second Lieutenant in the U.S. Army.
Kelsey Mikkelson, Navy ROTC nurse cadet, will be commissioned as an Ensign in the U.S. Navy.
Kelsey Rosebeary, Army ROTC nurse cadet, will be commissioned as Second Lieutenant in the U.S. Army.
Casey Shalkowski, Navy ROTC nurse cadet, will commissioned as an Ensign in the U.S. Navy.
Kelsey Rosebeary, senior nursing student (BSN Class of May 2015), enrolled in the UMaine Army ROTC program in her second semester of the BSN program. According to Lieutenant Colonel Charles Rote, Professor of Military Science, Kelsey has excelled as an Army ROTC cadet, culminating in being named the #1 Army ROTC Nurse Cadet in the nation! Kelsey will receive the Nurse Cadet Excellence Award when she is commissioned as 2ndLieutenant in the U.S. Army upon graduation with her BSN in May 2015. She currently serves as Cadet Battalion Commander for the UM Army ROTC program.
Kelsey hails from Poulsbo, Washington, which is near the Olympic Peninsula. She was intrigued by the UMaine Army ROTC program after a presentation by then-senior nursing student and Army ROTC cadet, Casey Levasseur, in NUR 101 in the first semester of the BSN program.
Kelsey distinguished herself during the U.S. Army ROTC Nurse Summer Training Program at Tripler Army Medical Center in Honolulu, Hawaii, in Summer 2014. Kelsey worked side-by-side with an Army Nurse Corps Officer preceptor for 150 clinical hours, including night shifts, over 4 weeks. She carried a full patient caseload on an ortho-neurovascular unit and became proficient in performing many nursing procedures such as venipuncture, starting IVs, and inserting catheters/tubes. Kelsey described her growth in professional nursing and military responsibilities during the summer program.
“Having the opportunity for a nursing internship through the U.S. Army ROTC program was an honor. Getting to spend it at one of the most desired locations for nursing students made it that much more of an experience. At Tripler Army Medical Center (TAMC) in Hawaii, I was assigned to the Orthopaedic/Neuro/Vascular floor and worked alongside an Army Nurse Corps officer. My hands-on assessment and clinical skills, as well as my critical thinking, were challenged, developed, and improved. While on my assigned unit, I was able to practice skills that nursing students generally do not get to practice until they have graduated. Some of these skills included bedside glucose monitoring, blood draws, insertion of an intravenous (IV) catheter, and hanging blood transfusions. I had opportunities to have alternate experiences in the post-anesthesia care unit (PACU), the operating room (OR), and to spend a day with COL Jennifer Bedick – the Deputy Commander for Nursing at TAMC and the Regional Nurse Executive for Pacific Regional Medical Command – who is in charge of at least five hospitals within the Pacific Region. While in the operating room, I had the opportunity to see four orthopedic surgeries as well as help the Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA) in intubating a patient. These experiences enhanced my clinical development and competency while also providing me with a more vast understanding of all the opportunities Army nurses have available to them. One of the other students even had the chance to deliver a baby while following a nurse midwife!
While at school, nursing and ROTC are very much separated. I discovered; however, that by being enrolled in the two programs, you develop skills in leadership, time-management, and critical thinking that can be utilized in both fields of practice. My time at TAMC not only developed me as a nurse, but it also developed my interpretation and understanding of how well-married the Army and the Nurse Corps actually are. Upon completion of this internship, I now envision the two as inseparable. I feel confident in my abilities to provide safe and effective patient care while also incorporating the seven Army Values into my work ethic.”
The UMaine School of Nursing is fortunate that Kelsey selected us for her preparation in professional nursing. Clearly, she will provide the highest possible nursing care to United States military troops, veterans and their families!
Senior nursing students Brittany Myles and Aaron Cyr posed with Maine Governor LePage at an invitational event held at The Blaine House in Augusta in May 2013.
Brittany and Aaron represented the UMaine School of Nursing at this invitational event held in honor of National Nurses Week.