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APUS Celebrates National Nurses Week and Graduating Nurses

APUS Celebrates National Nurses Week and Graduating Nurses

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Start a Health Sciences degree at American Public University.

By Dr. Stacey Kram, DNP, RN-BC, CCRN, PCCN, CNE 
Nursing Program Director, School of Health Sciences, American Public University

In 1993, the American Nurses Association designated May 6-12 as the national week to celebrate and elevate the nursing profession. Each year since then, the celebration ends on May 12, the birthday of America’s most famous nurse, Florence Nightingale.

The week is a time for everyone – individuals, employers, healthcare professionals, community leaders and nurses – to recognize the many contributions and positive impact of America’s four million registered nurses.

This National Nurses Week, we will also celebrate the graduation of almost 120 RN to BSN and MSN nursing students, each of whom has taken the first important step of returning to school and who will now have limitless opportunities available to them.

At APU, we honor our nursing students by selecting one student or alumnus each year for his or her academic and professional contributions to making the world a healthier place.

This year’s recipient of the Graduate Student Scholar Award for the School of Health Sciences is Master of Science Nursing graduate, Lieutenant Commander Mark Bramblett of the U.S. Public Health Service’s Indian Health Service. He is the manager of Surgical Services on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota.

Guided by his coursework, LCDR Bramblett wrote and received a $7,500 grant to increase colorectal cancer screening rates on the reservation. As a result, colorectal screening rates at Pine Ridge rose above the national average. Six cases of early colon cancer were identified, which led to timely treatment.

In addition to his grant work, LCDR Bramblett also used his capstone course to make tremendous advances in his organization and to improve the health of the Native Americans in his community.

As an example, he obtained funding to install the National Database of Nursing Quality Indicators Database at his reservation facility. This allows the facility to benchmark patient safety performance indicators against other organizations and focus on specific areas for improvement. He has also instilled a culture of evidence-based practice at his work site on the reservation to enhance healthcare for all residents.

Speaking of the nursing program at APU, LCDR Bramblett says, “The program is down-to-earth and well thought out. I was able to finish a Master’s degree while working because of the flexibility of the program and learned a lot that prepared me to become a better manager.”

Accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE), AMU offers RN to BSN, RN to MSN, and traditional MSN degree pathways in an online, flexible and supportive environment.

LCDR Bramblett, a champion for patient safety and well-being, is now furthering his education in a Family Nurse Practitioner program.

Students like LCDR Bramblett are testimony to the importance of higher education in the nursing profession to deliver high-quality safe care to our patients and communities.

As the current nursing workforce continues to age at an alarming rate, current and projected nurse shortages will only continue to grow. Nurse leaders of the future, such as LCDR Bramblett, are needed now to step up and ensure that we have a trained nursing workforce that can continue to meet the healthcare needs of our nation.

About the Author

Stacey Kram, DNP, RN-BC, CCRN, PCCN, CNE, serves in both academics and health outreach in the School of Health Sciences at APU. Dr. Kram completed her Doctor of Nursing Practice at Salisbury University and has been a nurse for 15 years and an educator for nine years. Her clinical experience is primary care of critically ill adults and their families. Prior to joining the university, Dr. Kram worked as a Nurse Manager for a novice nurse residency program within a community hospital system on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. She also served in the Army Reserve Nurse Corps for three years as a First Lieutenant with the 2290th USAH at Walter Reed Army Medical Center.