Be the change you want to see in the world. ~ Ghandi

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Grounds for Health in Nicaragua

For women living in impoverished areas in underdeveloped countries, it is extremely challenging to get preventative medical care as well as the treatment that is needed. Yet there are people who have taken on this challenge and are doing something about it right now. One Nurse At A Time 2011 scholarship recipient, Sylvia Estrada, is one of those people.  Read her entire story on on line on the Nurse Together website:

Sylvia S. Estrada, RNC, WHCNP, CBCN, MSN, MSHCM, BSN is the Clinical Program Coordinator for the Wasserman Breast Cancer Risk Reduction Program at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. Ms. Estrada is nationally certified as a:  Women's Health Care Nurse Practitioner; Certified Breast Care Nurse; and Certified Clinical Research Professional.     Her current clinical care and research interests involve the screening of women, who are at high risk for breast cancer, provide genetic counseling for hereditary breast and ovarian cancer.    
 Ms. Estrada received her nursing degree from Los Angeles County /University of Southern California (LAC/USC) School of Nursing and her Bachelor's in Nursing from California State University, Los Angeles. She earned a Master's degree in Healthcare Management from California State University, Los Angeles and a Master's degree in Nursing from California State University, Long Beach. She is currently enrolled in the Doctorate of Nursing Practice (DNP) program at Western University of Health Sciences in Pomona, California. 
Ms. Estrada demonstrates a strong commitment to her volunteer work providing service and medical care to the underserved populations across Central American countries, travelling abroad annually to address, deliver and manage gynecological and obstetric health care needs of impoverished women.  

Monday, December 19, 2011


"It is truly difficult to put into perspective how Africa has taken my heart captive. The warm smiles, the hospitality of the people and the unique cultures forever are sketched into my memory. However, the images of starving and orphaned children, the smell of sewage running through dirt-laden streets and the millions of people without clean water, food and basic healthcare also are tattoed on my mind and heart."  ~Heather Saunders, RN.  Read the entire article on

Heather Saunders, RN, works in the ED of a Level 1 trauma center in Springfield. She graduated from an ADN program in May of 2010 and is completing her bachelor’s degree in nursing. Her goal is to attend John Hopkins University for a master’s degree in public health. Heather was One Nurses's twelveth scholarship nurse for 2011.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011


 ONE NURSE AT A TIME welcomes out newest volunteer! Deeann Mikula, RN joins our team of people who are passionate about giving back to their local and global community through volunteer and humanitarian medical pursuits. She will serve as part of our communications team by submitting articles to nursing journals both on-line and in print, as well as maintaining out blog.

Deeann has a history of volunteering. She recently earned her RN and started working immediately at Swedish Cherry Hill Emergency Department.  Dee earned her EMT certification in 2004, which was when she decided that she was unfulfilled working with computers and wanted to get back to college passion for medicine.  At that same time, she began volunteering with her local chapter of the American Red Cross, beginning her training in Disaster Health Services.  Almost immediately upon becoming qualified to volunteer in a American Red Cross national deployment, she was sent to central Florida for Hurricane Charley. 
 That Hurricane Charley deployment turned into Hurricane Francis, Ivan and Jeanne while Dee was deployed in the area.  It was during this incredible response that she was inspired by hard work, dedication, flexibility and sense of caring of the nurses she was working with.  It was then that she decided, "Nursing is for me!"  She has since volunteered on many local disaster responses and one other national response for the American Red Cross.  She hopes to begin volunteering internationally on disaster responses and other support for communities at need. 
 Dee is certified in Advanced Cardiac Life Support and Pediatric Advanced Life Support, and serves on the Operations Council and the Safety Council of the Emergency Department and is a member of the Emergency Nurses Association.  Her other interest include outdoor activities such as hiking, camping, kayaking, swimming, snowshoeing and skiing, as well as travel, cooking and copious amounts of reading.
Everyone at One Nurse extends a hearty welcome to Deeann. She will be a valuable asset to the team!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Cervical Cancer Campaign in Coffee Growing Communities

     For a woman living in impoverished areas in underdeveloped countries it is extremely challenging to get preventative medical care as well as the treatment that is needed. Yet there are people who have taken on this challenge and are doing something about it right now.  Grounds For Health(GFH) is a non-profit organization whose mission is to create women’s health programs in coffee growing communities such as Nicaragua, Mexico, and Tanzania, with a focus on the early detection and treatment of cervical cancer. They achieve this through community partnerships with coffee cooperatives (co-ops), local health systems, volunteer teams, involved supporters, and implementing sustainable programs that will work for that respective country.
      From September 21-30th, 2011, 7 GFH volunteers travelled to San Juan de Rio Coco, Nicaragua.  San Juan de Rio Coco is a rural coffee growing community in the northern highlands in the department of Madriz, Nicaragua; a six hour rustic drive outside of Managua.  The GFH staff was housed in a modest hotel in the center of town.  The  primary care hospital known as  Luis Felipe Moncada, had an outpatient clinic area that was used as the clinic site for the cervical cancer campaign.  The clinic was located in the outskirts of town approximately six city blocks from our hotel.  The clinic became the first dysplasia treatment center in the municipality of San Juan del Rio Coco to have trained medical personnel to screen for cervical cancer.
     GFH had partnered with four local coffee co-ops to assist with logistics and management of the cervical cancer campaign. We trained a new cohort of 11 doctors and nurses on cervical cancer screening that included pap smears, Visual Inspection with Acetic Acid (VIA), and treatment of pre-cancer cervical lesions with cryotherapy. During the course of the campaign, a total of 306 women were screened.
     Grounds For Health relies heavily on its volunteers.  I along with six other volunteers that included a pathologist, cytotechnicians, and nurse practitioners from the U.S. gave our time and expertise to bring education and clinical training to the rural Nicaraguan healthcare staff . I was one of five clinical preceptors. Each day I was given two students to supervise their new learned skills to take a gynecological history, evaluate their pelvic exam techniques, and evaluate their communication with patients regarding cervical cancer screening.  My proficiency in Spanish was a big asset and contributed greatly with my ability to establish a good rapport with my students.  My students were very curious about the way I practice back home and I was curious to find out about the different levels of “nursing” and education in Nicaragua.  I particularly enjoyed our “feedback sessions” at the end of a long clinic day where students, clinical preceptors, and lab staff would have the opportunity to talk about how our day went.  I was always eager to hear from the lab staff that our students had prepared their pap smear slides correctly. 
Our goal was not to just provide screening and treatment but to collaborate with the communities (including the ministry of health, other local providers, the hospitals and clinics to name a few), to create a program that continues long after we are gone that doesn’t need spare parts or highly trained experts.  We helped create a “sustainable and effective” program so that when we leave Nicaragua, the local health care providers can continue to provide these health care services for women. 
     I am fortunate to be able to participate in this amazing program. I am fortunate to use my services to change another’s life experience for the better and fortunate for the medical care that is available to us here in the United States. Thanks to programs such as Grounds For Health and its dedicated volunteers, many lives in impoverished countries have been given a second chance at health. I am extremely grateful to ONAAT for the honor of being chosen as a scholarship recipient. 
     If you want to find out about volunteer opportunities with Grounds For Health please log on to  

  By Sylvia S. Estrada, RNC, WHCNP, CBCN, MSN, MSHCM, BSN . our 12th One Nurse scholarship awardee for 2011.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011


Arriving home from Haiti each time is hard. The country is filled of amazing people with beautiful spirits.  I spent 10 days working in the only critical care hospital in the entire country. Project Medishare for Haiti is located in the heart of Port-au-Prince. During my time spent at the hospital hundreds upon hundreds of patients were seen each day. There illness ranging from asthma attacks to acute GI bleeds.
There are so many memories I have made. People from all around the world travel to Haiti each week to help at The Bernard Mevs Hospital. This week we had Canadians, Americans, Australians, English plus so many more.  It always amazes me how people of so many different backgrounds can come together  for a greater cause....
Ginger Hart, RN, BSN lives in Conway, Arkansas. She graduated from the University of Central Arkansas in 2010 with her bachelors of science in nursing. She works as a RN at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) for the Myeloma Institute for Research and Therapy, the worlds largest treatment center for patients with multiple myeloma needing stem cell transplants.  Ginger has volunteered in China and made numerous medical missions to Haiti since the earthquake of 2010. She received the 13th One Nurse At A Time scholarship for 2011 to serve in Haiti.
Read Ginger Hart's entire story:

Tuesday, November 8, 2011


One Nurse At A Time is proud to welcome David Fox as our newest volunteer. David will be helping to expand our presence in the media, as well as leading fund raising through social media.
"I’ve been fortunate enough to know Sue Averill, co-founder of One Nurse, for a couple of decades having worked together previously at the same company. Sue has always demonstrated an unquenchable drive to improve everything she touches and now she touches the world through One Nurse. I’m glad and proud to support her and the One Nurse team any way I can. Because of my corporate and international background, I hope to knit together a number of global organizations as resources to One Nurse.

My career has not been humanitarian per se but human-oriented, with more than 20 years in various corporate HR leadership and consulting roles. I’d like to think HR work has its humanitarian aspects even if it is just inside corporations. I feel best about my work when I see people doing well, and that’s also part of the mission of One Nurse. I’ve been involved with workforces around the world, including the UK, Netherlands, Malaysia, India, China, Australia and Japan.

For the past 6 years, I’ve been living in China doing my best to learn of the country and the people, and support the development of the HR community there. I can assure you, there is a vast opportunity in China for One Nurse and any work there will make a huge difference. Prior to China, I lived in Spain but home has always been the US.

Past roles have included Executive Director Global Talent Management, Executive Director International HR, and Director Strategic Talent Management Practice, among others."

David presently serves as the Head of Human Resources for Thomson Reuters Corporate Technology Center in Minnesota.  Everyone at One Nurse is thrilled to have such talent and expertise joining us. With David's help we can make a change in the nurse, one person,  at a time.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

One Nurse's President Assists Global Health Conference.

One Nurse At A Time’s president, Sue Averill recently was invited to review abstracts the 2011 Global Health Conference jointly sponsored by the Canadian Society for International Health, Global Health Education Consortium, and Consortium of Universities for International Health (GHEC/CUGH/CSIH)  The conference will be held in Montreal on November 13-15, 2011.  Sue’s feedback and input played an important role in shaping the conference themes and scientific content for the meeting and both co-chairs, Drs. Timothy Brewer and Anvar Velji expressed gratitude for her contribution. Just one more way we are making a difference….one nurse at time!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Final Scholarship Award for 2011

     One Nurse is proud to announce our 15th Scholarship award for 2011, Kayla Lee, RN, BSN, BA, CCRN. Kayla will be leaving for Chocola, Guatemala with Refuge International at the end of the week.  In Kayla's words....
     "I’ve been a registered nurse for over 12 years now in the intensive care unit setting.  I’ll be attending my first medical missions trip ever at the end of October 2011 to Guatemala.  It’s been something I’ve been talking about doing for a while and now will be putting words to action.  I’m way overdue - it’s time to live beyond myself and to step outside of my plush American lifestyle.  Though it sounds selfish, I hope to gain more out of this experience than the people I’ll be serving."
     Everyone at One Nurse wishes Kayla well and looks forward to hearing all about her experience when she returns.

Kayla Lee, RN, BSN, BA, CCRN received a BA in Psychology from the University of California, San Diego and her BSN at Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing. she has worked in the  Medical Cardiac Intensive Care Unit, Harborview Medical Center in Seattle, WA since 2007..

Wednesday, October 19, 2011


One Nurse board member, Kristi Whiton recently participated as an Ambassador for a People to People program to China. Her her own words, Kristi talks about her experience:

"After receiving a Emergency Nursing Associations invitation for an Emergency and Trauma Nursing People to People Ambassadors Program in the mail, traveling to China seemed like an adventure and education all at the same time. I talked my mother Linda Lemberg Ross RN, MSN into traveling with me, as she is also a former Emergency Nurse and currently a nursing instructor at a local community college. After many months of preparation, visa's and other necessary paperwork for the People to People Ambassador's Program- we were finally ready to leave September 3rd, 2011.

Our trip started us in Seattle, WA through San Francisco to our first stop in Beijing, China. We would be traveling from September 3rd until September 15th, 2011. Our travel partners included Emergency nurses from around the nation, several RN's from California, New York, Massachusetts,Virgina, Texas, and Montana. Our delegation leader was William Briggs, RN 2009 Emergency Nurse's Association past-president.

In Beijing we experienced both the cultural and nursing aspects of Chinese people. We spent time with pre-hospital personnel, Emergency Nurses, Traditional Chinese Medicine, Chinese Nurse's Association and the Chinese Medical Association. We toured the pre-hospital training and main ambulance center, and Peking's University's People's Hospital.

Our cultural days in Beijing were spent visiting Tienanmen square, Forbidden City and the Great Wall of China. Our eating experiences were traditional Chinese delicatessens. We enjoyed local restaurants, such as the famous Peking Duck Restaurant Da Dong and some of the nurse's ventured as far as trying fried scorpion's!

Our second stop was a short 3 hour flight to the south, to a smaller city of Guiyang. This city was considered more rural, with about 4 million people inhabiting the city center. Most of the Chinese people had never seen many tourists visit this city, so our arrival prompted many pictures from the local teenage girls and stares from the older Chinese people.

Our trip incorporated a venture to the Guiyang Medical University, and one of the local vocational schools farther outside of the central city of Guiyang. The trips to the university and vocational school were the highlight of the trip. Learning about their educational system, visiting their school rooms, and their laboratory's were fascinating. The welcome we received from the student nurses was unbelievable. At the vocational school, the school was set high in the mountains, about an hour and half away from Guiyang. It was a a very remote and peaceful setting. One of our highlights was when the entire nursing school of students (200-300) nurse's were screaming and yelling in delight when our bus pulled up to the front gate. The student nurse's who guided us through their campus were dressed in their white uniform's and white caps, the reception was overwhelming.

One of the benefits of the People to People Ambassadors trip is the option to extend your trip to visit other cities of China. My mother and I decided to extend and our visit included Xi'an and Kunming. These last 4 days were cultural days only, and we spent a majority of the time visiting cultural wonders such as the Terracota Army, City Wall of Xi'an, and Giant Wild Goose Pagoda. The first emperor of China, Qin Shi Huang ordered the construction of the Terracotta Army and his mausoleum is just to the east of Xi'an almost immediately after his ascension to the throne. The City Wall of Xi'an was constructed in the 14th century, and the Giant Wild Goose Pagoda is over 1000 years old. All of these sites were absolutely breathtaking and spectacular to visit.

In Kunming, my mother went solo (with the rest of the group) to visit this city. Being 6 1/2 months pregnant, I decided to take a day of rest and fly back to Beijing to wait for the rest of the group to return to Beijing and then prepare for our flight back to the states. One of the major sites they visited was the Kunming Stone Forest. The day was hot and the sites were unbelievable. The tall rocks seem to protrude from the ground in a similar way that stalagmites do in caves, many of them appear like petrified trees, which creates the illusion of a forest made of stone."

Kristi Whiton, ONAAT Board Member


Wednesday, October 5, 2011


International Surgical Health Initiative (ISHI) is looking for one or two CRNAs interested in joining a two week surgical mission to Sierra Leone. The mission has one attending anesthesiologist who will need the help of at least one CRNA to help with the surgical cases.

ISHI requires that you have an interest in surgical humanitarian mission; at least one year of clinical experience; a CRNA license; and can commit to the two week medical/surgical mission.

Volunteers will be responsible for their own airfare and some accommodation costs. The cost of transportation inside Sierra Leone, as well as lodging and food, as soon as you get to Kabala, are covered by ISHI.

Any CRNA interested in applying please contact : Ziad Sifri at: or   For more information please see ISHI’s website at

Monday, October 3, 2011

Hearts in Motion in Guatemala – A First, but Definitely Not Last, Medical Mission Abroad

When Becky Elder, FNP, read her Nov/Dec 2010 copy of NP World News she was elated. There on the front page, in bold type, were the words: “Healing Beyond Borders – One Nurse at a Time.” It was exactly what she wanted to do! Participating in a medical mission had always been a long term goal. She knew deep inside of that this was something she was meant to do. The article was about the organization, One Nurse At A Time (ONAAT) that recognizes how expensive it can be to volunteer and supports nurses and nurse practitioners who do. Becky contacted ONAAT; became the first ONAAT scholarship recipient for 2011; and completed her first, though definitely not last, medical mission in January of this year.....

Read Becky's story of her experiences in Guatemala working with Hearts in Motion in the most recent edition of NP WORLD NEWS. (Sept/Oct 2011)   One Nurse At A time has awarded thirteen $1,000 scholarships in 2011 to nurses and nurse practitioners who volunteered their time and talents abroad. For informations and applications see our website

Becky Elder, FNP, is a family nurse practitioner  at St. Luke’s Travel Medicine in Boise, Idaho.  She is married and has four boys.  She enjoys biking, hiking, and watching her boys play sports and is always up for a new adventure. Becky served on a Medical Mission  with the organization Hearts in Motions in Guatemala from January 7th -16, 2011.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Not Your Typical Law Firm

     Randall Danskin is not your typical law firm. They believe on providing strategic guidance and counsel based on their clients’ goals. For more than 100 years the attorneys of Randall Danskin have been known for their professionalism. And they are known for their volunteerism.
      Earlier this summer The Volunteer Lawyers Program (VLP) Advisory Committee and the Spokane County Bar Association Board of Trustees recently selected Randall | Danskin to receive the Exceptional Law Firm of the Year Award in recognition of the firm's support to the Spokane County Volunteer Lawyers Program during the past year.
     We at ONE NURSE AT A TIME would like to add our words of appreciation to this outstanding law firm that not only provided guidance through the process of obtaining our non profit 501(c)(3) status, but also, more recently, assisted us in drafting the legal releases necessary for our volunteer work.  We want to extend a huge THANK YOU to Douglas J. Siddoway, and all the others at Randall Danskin, for your generous gifts of your time and talent. 

Friday, September 23, 2011

ONE NURSE Awards First "Returning Nurse" Scholarship

   One Nurse At At TIme is thrilled to award another humanitarian nursing scholarship to Jennifer Tucker,RN, MSN, FNP-BC.  A dedicated nurse volunteer,Jenn will be making her fifth medical mission to San Raymundo, Guatemala, in October, with Refuge International.(RI).

Jenn was a One Nurse 2010 scholarship recipient when she previously served in San Raymondo with RI in February 2010. The following are Jennifer's remarks about her 2010 medical mission. We at One Nurse look forward to hearing all about this years mission when she returns.

In Jennifer's words:

Refuge International. It is not merely an organization with hundreds of volunteers.  It is not solely an organization that makes me feel safe in a foreign country.  For me, it is friendship. It is love.  It is serving those that need served the most.  It is the bringing together of people who are not always like-minded but like-souled.  I had the pleasure and joy of traveling to San Raymundo twice in 2010 with Refuge, February and October.

We saw sicker patients this past year, more grossly abnormal clinical findings.  More heartbreak than before.  More joy than before.  We had several patients that we simply had to say, there is nothing we can do for you, your condition will ultimately lead to your death, we are deeply sorry.  It is such a difficult conversation to have in the United States.  But, to have it with a patient and their family who have the wild hope that the gringos can fix anything.  This conversation can cause my heart to stop for a moment.  We hold hands with these patients. We offer comfort medications.  We help the family to understand how to help these people have a peaceful death.  We pray with them.  We cry with them.  We had patients who, by birth or by accident, had brain abnormalities.  Things from which they will never recover.  They will never be “normal”.  To be thanked for giving them the truth about their condition is humbling. It amazes me how the right provider ends up with the patient that needs them the most.  The trip in October saw the birth of a baby in the clinic.  Such hope and joy in a new baby’s cry!

Please do not think of me as a self-sacrificing, amazing person who goes for completely altruistic reasons.  It is not true.  I go because every year, I receive so very much.  Personally, it puts into perspective, my life, my goals, my desires.  It helps me to rely not on diagnostic testing, as there is very little available to me when in clinic.  But, rather, it helps me to develop my hands on skills and diagnostic abilities based on patient presentation.  I bring back the blessings of hundreds of people who we see in clinic.  I bring back the stories of love, hope and sorrow.  I bring back knowledge from every single member of the team I travel with...they all teach me so much.  The students I have worked with made me a better teacher.  The translators, our voices and our ears, infuse the spirit of their people into English that we can understand.  I come home with more friends. The camaraderie of the providers, the long hours, the tears that we’ve shared, bond us in a way that I’ve never been bonded to others before.  Do not think of me as a giving person.  Think of me as a person who has been enriched beyond anything she has hoped to be enriched, loved more than ever, taught in a way that she’s not been taught before and thankful for things she’s never been thankful for.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

An Amazing Young Nurse

ONE NURSE AT A TIME is proud to announce our Thirteenth scholarship for 2011! Ginger Hart has only been a nurse for one year, but has already completed three medical missions since graduation and will return to Port au Prince, Haiti this Fall to work with Project Medishare for Haiti. 

Ginger always knew from the time she was a child that she wanted to help those who were less fortunate than herself.  In 2007 she, along with 20 other nursing students, boarded a plane set for Shanghai , China. They spent the summer learning about traditional Chinese medicine as well as providing immunizations and basic care for the orphans of Shanghai.
After the earthquake that ravaged Port-au-Prince, Haiti in February 2010 Ginger immediately began preparing for a way she could help. After graduating nursing school on a Saturday she boarded a plane bound for Haiti on Sunday.  She worked in the operating room in a makeshift tent hospital working with a non profit organization called Project Medishare for Haiti. It is supported and ran by the University of Miami hospital. She has made 3 different trips to Haiti since May 2010 and with her scholarship provided by One Nurse at A Time she will be able to make her 4th trip this October.
"I am beyond excited to be going back to Haiti. It is my home away from home,” says Ginger.  She will work in the operating room with other volunteer doctors and nurses providing trauma and emergent surgeries around the clock. Project Medishare’s hospital, Bernard Mevs in the only ICU hospital on the entire island. It has 3 med/surg wards, 1 specific for spinal cord injuries. 1 pediatric ward with the only NICU and PICU, a 2 bed ER, a 1 bed triage, a 4 bed ICU with 2 ventilators, a 2 bed OR with a 4 bed PACU.
Ginger would like to extend her appreciation to ONAAT for the help they have provided her.  We at One Nurse At A Time say to Ginger....BRAVO!  We hold you in awe.  Each time you go out into the world you do , indeed, make it a better place.

Saturday, August 27, 2011


ONE NURSE AT A TIME is proud to announce our twelfth scholarship for 2011. Sylvia Estrada will travel to San Juan del Rio Coco, Nicaragua in late September to work with Grounds for Health.  In Ms Estrada's own words:
"It was through an article in Nurse Week that I found out about ONAAT.  In the words of St. Francis Assissi, “It is in giving that we receive” and certainly every time I go into a Central American country to provide health care services to the underserved women of that country, I am reminded of how truly fortunate and blessed we are living in this country.  Volunteering in underserved areas is my “Chicken Soup For  The Soul” and I look forward to my annual trips to educate and help heal vulnerable women."
We welcome Sylvia to the sisterhood/Brotherhood of nurses who are changing the world ....One Nurse At A Time !

Sylvia S. Estrada, RNC, WHCNP, CBCN, MSN, MSHCM, BSN is the Clinical Program Coordinator for the Wasserman Breast Cancer Risk Reduction Program at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. Ms. Estrada is nationally certified as a:  Women's Health Care Nurse Practitioner; Certified Breast Care Nurse; and Certified Clinical Research Professional.     Her current clinical care and research interests involve the screening of women, who are at high risk for breast cancer, provide genetic counseling for hereditary breast and ovarian cancer. Ms. Estrada received her nursing degree from Los Angeles County /University of Southern California (LAC/USC) School of Nursing and her Bachelor's in Nursing from California State University, Los Angeles. She earned a Master's degree in Healthcare Management from California State University, Los Angeles and a Master's degree in Nursing from California State University, Long Beach. She is currently enrolled in the Doctorate of Nursing Practice (DNP) program at Western University of Health Sciences in Pomona, California.  Ms. Estrada demonstrates a strong commitment to her volunteer work providing service and medical care to the underserved populations across Central American countries, travelling abroad annually to address, deliver and manage gynecological and obstetric health care needs of impoverished women.  

Friday, August 19, 2011

ONAAT Awards Our Eleventh Scholarship for 2011

 One Nurse At A Time congratulates Heather Saunders, RN on on her dedication to humanitarian nursing. Heather will be serving in September with ER Abroad in Nakuru, Kenya and is the eleventh ONAAT scholarship recipient this year. In Heather's own words:

"I am currently a registered nurse at a level 1 trauma center in Springfield, IL. Although I love my job as an emergency room nurse, my truest calling and passion is for working with populations of people in health crisis and in need of humanitarian assistance.  I graduated from an ADN program in May of 2010 but have been participating in medical mission work since the summer of 2006 when I accompanied a team of medical staff to Ghana, West Africa.  I am currently finishing my bachelor’s degree in nursing and hope to continue on to John Hopkins University where I aspire to obtain a master’s degree in public health.  It is my dream to be able to work full time in medical missions.  Until then I will continue to bring love and medicine to the world through short-term trips."

                        "The purpose of life is a life of purpose." ~ Robert Byrne

Sunday, August 14, 2011

On A Sunny Saturday in Seattle

  A small crowd of One Nurse At A Time supportors gathered at Tulas Jazz Club in Seattle on Saturday afternoon to hear  jazz musician, Rick DellaRatta, play.  The concert was a ONAAT fund-raiser and proceeds from the ticket sales will go toward nursing scholarships for nurses who volunteer abroad.

"Rick DellaRatta is now considered by many to be one of the finest Singer/Pianists performing today and one of only a handful of Jazz Artists who can make a successful musical presentation to a large audience without having to abandon the true art form of Jazz. Through his life long endeavor to help  advance people to their highest potential through the understanding of Jazz as well as spreading peace worldwide through his "Jazz for Peace World Tour." (quote from

ONAAT president, Sue Averill introduced DellaRatta and spoke briefly about  the history of One Nurse and the goals we have not simply met, but have exceeded.  To date, in 2012 alone, we have awarded 12 One-Thousand dollar scholarships to nurses who provided humanitarian health care  in Guatemala, Ecuador, Viet Nam, Haiti, Honduras, Niger and Kenya!

We would like to thank all who turned out for the concert (on one of the very few sunny Saturday's Seattle has seen this season!) in support of our nurses. We also want to thank all who donate to One Nurse all year round and remind everyone that it is easy to make a donation from our website It is only through the generous support of our donors that we are able to bring change to nurse at a  time. Thank you!

Monday, August 8, 2011

WELCOME Karis Cady

   One Nurse At  A Time is proud to announce a new member to our Board.  Karis Cady, of Shoreline, Washington joins us and we all look forward to working together as we continue to expand our efforts to support volunteer humanitarian work at home and abroad. 

Karis speaks of the roots of her passion for humanitarian work:  "Since the age of three I knew I wanted to be an artist. I also wanted to live out the values my parents instilled in me of serving others and making an impact in the world. For the past twelve years I’ve worked as the Senior Designer at Pyramid Communications, a communications firm that works with non-profits, foundations, indigenous groups and community organizations. Our tagline is ‘We give voice to good causes.’
My parents had a passion for social justice and community development, so they started a non-profit housing firm in Cincinnati’s poorest community. Believing that change comes from within, they chose to live and raise their family in that same community. I grew up playing on fire escapes, waiting in food stamp lines, giving volunteer church groups tours of the ghetto, and playing barefoot in the streets. I worked in the soup kitchen but I was also the kid in the soup kitchen line.
My mother was a hospital chaplain. She believed that everyone had a story to tell and it was her goal to hear as many of those stories as she could. She had an amazing gift of comfort in the midst of pain and fear. She died of cancer when I was 21.
Through my experience hanging out at Mom’s workplace as well as going through her illness, I believe in the power of nurses. I was inspired to work with ONAAT because I want to support nurses that choose to volunteer their time and skills in areas that so desperately need it. We all can change the world, and ourselves, by using the gifts we are given and sharing them with others."
We  welcome Karis to the team and look forward to working together. WE re thrilled to add her voice to the good we are doing in the world.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Return to Haiti

I returned to Haiti with MMRC Haiti. MMRC is dedicated to the helping Haitian orphanages, running logistics for medical personnel  and getting donated supplies to people who need them most.
We spent our days at an orphanage in Titanyen, Haiti. The kids there just simply melt your heart! The live with meager shelter (girls have a tent to sleep in and the boys sleep outside), limited food and water, and very little medical care. They have few toys and not enough clothes and shoes to go around. The nurses in our group conducted health assessments for the kids. We treated multiple cases of tinea capitis (a common fungal infection of the scalp) as well as some other common childhood ailments. We created an online record for each child to help coordinate care and share information between medical teams that visit the orphanage.  The non-medical part of our team spent the days building showers for the kids who currently have no running water.

We spent some of our nights working in the ER and triage at a local NGO run hospital because they were short staffed and only had 3 volunteer nurses that week. In the ER we treated everything from lacerations to fractures to hypoglycemic emergencies.
 MMRC Haiti also conducted medical transfers of patients. Weather it was a child with cholera, an adult with severe sepsis, a pregnant woman or a baby, we would place them in our vehicle and take them to the place where they would get the most appropriate care. Real ambulances are a rare commodity in Port Au Prince so we treat and transfer patients in the back of an old pick up truck.

My favorite part of working in Haiti is working along side the Haitian people. At MMRC Haiti we have a great group of Haitian guys that are our coworkers, security, translators and friends. One of our Haitian coworkers came to us and told us that MSPP (the Haitian Ministry of Health) was pulling bodies from his neighborhood daily. They were dying of cholera. He asked us to come teach a cholera class. We jumped at the chance and we held several cholera education classes in his neighborhood teaching both treatment and prevention measures. We were happy to see some of the class members passing on the info to more locals after class. 

I never like leaving Haiti. Haiti makes me a better person. It makes me a better steward of health care resources in the states and makes me grateful to have them.  Haiti makes me think outside the box to solve patient care problems.  Haiti makes me realize how many things I can live without and teaches me the true meaning of human perseverance and resilience. I hope to return soon.

~Laura Brown

Laura Brown, RN, BSN, CCRN grew up in Raleigh, North Carolina and graduated from Belmont University in 2002.  Laura works in Med/Surg ICU at the University of Washington Medical Center.  Laura has been on six medical missions to Haiti since the earthquake of 2010 and continues to be amazed at the spirit of the Haitian people. She lives in the Seattle area with her husband and their two dogs. Laura enjoys volunteering at a prison pet reading program, hiking and traveling.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Put More Nurse in the World

One Nurse At A Time is pleased to announce our newest volunteer, Kathryn Harper as our new Development & Communications Consultant.
Kathryn brings more than fifteen years experience in philanthropy, fundraising, grant management, marketing communications and public relations.
Following six years living and working internationally, and later working and volunteering for diverse non-profit organizations in Seattle and Honolulu, Kathryn understands the value of human capital in improving the lives of men, women and children marginalized by a lack of access to adequate health care, education or food – things many people take for granted. Her efforts to “put more nurse into the world” include supporting the organization’s development and outreach efforts, and helping to shine a light on the unparalleled benefits of nursing in the U.S. and abroad. 
Kathryn holds a master’s degree in public policy from Seattle University, a Jesuit institution that weaves social justice into all of its curricula, and bachelor’s degree in history from Antioch University. Born and brought up in Hawaii, she currently resides in San Francisco.
Welcome Kathryn, to the One Nurse team, a team dedicated to supporting nurses and enhancing the profession as we promote humanitarian work locally, nationally and internationally

Monday, July 25, 2011

ONE NURSE AT A TIME Scholarship Nurse Leaves for Belize

One Nurse At A Time sends a warm send-off to our  11th scholarship nurse for 2011, Carolyn Zook, BSN, PNP. While traveling in Central America last year, Carolyn was deeply moved by the level of poverty. She felt a strong connection to the people, especially the children, and decided she wanted to go on a medical mission to Central America. She left on July 22, 2011 to serve with the non-profit , "International Servants" in the Stann Creek region of southern Belize.
Carolyn has worked in Child Neurology at the University of North Carolina for eight years. She previously worked as a PNP in primary care for six years at Duke University.  She serves as a preceptor and lecturer for the University of North Carolina and Duke University Nursing programs, and is a speaker for PESI Healthcare, a national organization that provides continuing education for nurses.  Carolyn worked for several years in cities with large Hispanic populations where she learned to appreciate their compassion and love for their families.  She continues to work with a large Hispanic population in North Carolina.  Carolyn has also volunteered at a local homeless shelter and a shelter for women who are victims of domestic violence. She lives in Durham, North Carolina with her fiancé and 2 cats. Carolyn loves all outdoor activities, especially gardening and hiking.   
Everyone at ONAAT wishes her a safe and satisfying journey and looks forward to hearing all about her medical mission when she returns. 

Monday, July 18, 2011

Medical Mission to Honduras

June 18-26, 2011 was a week of my life that I will never forget.  I had the privilege of traveling to Honduras with United Methodist Church of Farmville sponsored through Friends of Barnabas Foundation.  We stayed with at the foundation house in Peña Blanca and traveled to five different villages all in the mountains of Honduras.  The villages included Santa Ana, Pompoa, Las Crucitas, Montañuelas, and Bueña Vista.  I was one of 15 in my group combined of medical and non-medical staff.  At each village, we set up a medical clinic with three registered nurses, one nurse practitioner, two 2 nursing students, and one local doctor.  We also set up a de-worming clinic and an eye clinic. 
This was my first trip to Honduras and I was taking back by the beauty of the land; yet in the same scene, such poverty and destruction.  The people of these villages were so excited to see our bus arrive.  The men of the village would be lined up waiting to unload the bus for us.  Most villages already had a line formed waiting to check in of mothers with at least 3 children clinging to her side.
 One of the most memorable experiences I had was on my last day of clinic the very first family I saw was a mother in her 20’s and two children.  The little girl, 4 years old, was all smiles in her little pigtails and the boy, 18 months followed suit.  My interpreter had a long beard and when he greeted the family the little boy was drawn to him.  He stretched his little hand out to touch the beard.  At this time, my interpreter placed his hand on the little boy’s cheek, and this image was burnt into my memory.  It was obvious these children knew we were here to help them and their mother was every bit as thankful as the children. Our team members were given crosses to give away throughout the week to people we saw Christ in, and needless to say these children were given mine.
 A very hard thing during my trip to deal with was the unfortunate people that we couldn’t help and had to refer to the hospital.  When this happened, it broke my heart to know they would more than likely never see a doctor for their needs either because of cost or transportation barriers.  A lady in her 70’s came in with a very large diabetic foot ulcer that was so infected, it had necrotic tissue surrounding the area and had impeded circulation to that foot; she had had this ulcer for over a year.  It was obvious to us in health care there was not many options for the future other than amputation.  All I could do at this point is pray for this lady.
Our team had the privilege to serve and help over 700 people of Honduras. I want to thank One Nurse at a Time for helping me make this trip possible.  The team I traveled with as well as the staff at The Friends of Barnabas Foundation made me feel as though Honduras was a second home for me.  I hope I have the opportunity to make this trip again and help other the many other villages in need.
~Lauren Johnson

Lauren Johnson, RN,BSN, was born in raised in Chesterfield, VA and now is a critical care nurse in Pinehurst, NC. Lauren grew up in an amazingly loving family who taught her to care for others from the beginning. She spent most of her youth playing competitive softball which led her to Lenoir Rhyne College in Hickory, NC on an academic and softball scholarship.  There she started her nursing education and fell in love. She soon found that her studies would have to take precedence over softball, and moved back home to Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, VA to finish her nursing degree.  After accepting a job in a medical/neuro ICU in Pinehurst, NC, Lauren started to see why nursing is such a blessed profession.  Not only does she love going to work to care for others, but the joy of being able to help in an extreme time of need makes each day worthwhile

Thursday, July 14, 2011

A Day in the Life of Terese

The day marked my fourth month in Belize. My husband, Norm, and I had spent weeks and shed buckets of sweat turning a dirty, dilapidated corner of a building into a medical clinic for women. Since then, day after day, for long hours I attended to patients while geckos climbed the walls and termites built fresh trails on the ceiling over my exam table.
Though I was a nurse, my duties had expanded beyond providing basic health care. I also disposed of the occasional dead rat on the path to the clinic, swept mounds of dead bugs from the floor, and waged daily war against mosquitoes big enough to ride. Once I even armed myself with a machete and battled an opossum that wanted to make my clinic his home. But on the day that marked my fourth month in this tropical country, I was taking a much-needed break from work. For one day, at least, I would be Nancy- the- Photographer and not Nancy- the- Nurse.....

By Nancy Leigh Harless BSN, WCHNP and Director Communications for One Nurse At A Time. Read the entire story at

Friday, July 8, 2011


Every day, Doctors Without Borders aid workers from around the world provide assistance to people whose survival is threatened by violence, neglect, or catastrophe – treating those most in need regardless of political, religious, or economic interest. Whether an emergency involves armed conflicts or epidemics, malnutrition or natural disasters, Doctors Without Borders is committed to bringing quality medical care to people caught in crisis.
On on July 25th in Portland, and on July 26th in Seattle, medical and non-medical professionals are invited to join us for a presentation to learn more about how you can join Doctors Without Borders' pool of dedicated aid workers. You'll meet experienced Doctors Without Borders aid workers from the Seattle area and hear firsthand stories of "life in the field." Aid worker and recruiter Melissa Bieri will discuss requirements and the application process.
Monday, July 25, 2011 - 7:00PM (PT)
REI Portland
1405 NW Johnson St
Portland, OR 97209

For more information and to register for Portland please visit:

Tuesday, July 26, 2011 - 7:00PM (PT)
REI Seattle
222 Yale Avenue N
Seattle, WA 98109
For more information and to register for Seattle  please visit:

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Working as a Team in San Raymundo

The very best thing about the Medical Mission trip with Refuge International was working with a group of professionals who are skilled in giving care, and cared deeply about the people they were giving care to. We worked as a team, and everyone was there to help. So many of our patients had extraordinary stories: men who worked in blazing sun without hats or water, children who had played with gun powder to make fireworks with an open fire, with disastrous results (hideous scaring), and women who waited years and had come hours on a bus ride to be relieved of their daily pain from uterine fibroids are three examples. We had a couple of terminal cancer patients and everyone in the mission was aware of them, concerned for them, and prayed for them to be eased of their suffering. I would be thrilled to go back every month to work at that clinic!
Gretchen Mettler graduated from Kent State University with a BA in Political Science in 1974.  In 1978 she got her Associate Degree in Nursing  from Youngstown State University, then completed her BSN and MS from the University of Minnesota in 1984. Gretchen has worked in  variety of settings as a Certified Nurse Midwife including a hospital affiliated birth center, a community hospital, and private practice, a federally funded community health center, and  University Hospitals of Cleveland in the Women's Health Center, where she cares for a mostly urban, impoverished and socially marginalized population. Gretchen lives in Cleveland, Ohio with an 11 year old "rescued” black standard poodle, Willie, 2 cats, Kittie and Nell. She loves to relax by gardening, cooking, reading or enjoys a wide variety of music Gretchen is the principle care giver to an aunt who will be 95 in May and her greatest accomplishment is being a mother to 19 year old, Liza, who is a college sophomore. Gretchen was our second scholarship recipient for 2011. she served with Refuge International in San Raymundo, Guatemala from Feb 17-27, 2011.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

One Common Ground - A Nurse's Experience

Do you know about all the American boys  in Kosovo? They were there to protect the peace. They were everywhere! And not just Americans – Peacekeeping Forces from all over the world including Russia, France, Italy, United Kingdom, Sweden and America were stationed in Kosovo. I was there too, celebrating the millennium summer, working as a nurse practitioner in the war recovery effort. I was privileged to be working in a Maternal Child Health Program in Gjilane, Kosovo.....
One afternoon on the way to my café, I passed a parked Hummer on the corner. In the portal cut from the roof of the Hummer stood two young soldiers facing in opposite directions so they could view the street in both directions.  Each held a machine gun. As I neared the corner I caught the eye of the young man that faced me, with his gun pointing toward my heart. He was a tall boy, about 18 years old, with solemn brown eyes and dark skin. He looked straight ahead with a stern and serious expression on his face.

I wondered how these young men feel about the big responsibility they had been given. They were all very young men, boys really, in their late teens or early twenties. Living so far away from home and not being allowed by the military to socialize among the local people, they must surely feel lonely.

As I caught the young man's eye, I stop walking and smiled at him. His expression remained unchanged, still, stern, serious and grim.  Then I pointed to myself and silently spelled out a single word  A-M-E-R-I-C-A-N, smiled and then  gave a little wave. His serious posture shifted. A wide grin spread over his face as he gave a small nod in my direction. We had connected. Although far, far away from the “land of the free and the home of the brave, we were on common ground.

By Nancy Leigh Harless, BSN, WCHNP and Director Communications for One Nurse At A Time worked with International Medical Corp in the post-Balkan War recovery effort in Gjalen, Kosovo during the summer of 2000. Read the entire article at:

Friday, June 24, 2011

IN MEMORY: Jo Schuyler an Ardent Supportor and Longtime Friend

Marilyn Jo Schuyler loved life, her husband, friends, hard work and golf.  Our lives joined 25 years ago, and we were closer than sisters.  Since the first ideas of One Nurse At A Time began to formulate, Jo was an ardent supporter.  As I expounded on my ideas to change the world by helping nurses volunteer, she would listen, encourage and counsel.  Jo and her husband David financially supported our cause, and last year arranged for One Nurse to be the holiday charity for her Inglewood Women's Golf Club.  I think Jo bought and gave away more Nurses Beyond Borders books than even we contributers!   She was so proud of our work.

Jo grew up in small town South Dakota, and moved to San Francisco with her high school sweetheart and daughter in the height of Peace and Love of the 60's and 70's.  Besides being a teacher and accomplished musician, she volunteered much of her time with housing and social issues so important at the time.  Moving to Seattle she became a CPA and eventually my roommate.  My husband and I introduced her to David Schuyler.  Immediately, they knew they'd met the love of their lives,married and spent the past 21 years together.  Our families joined -my mother was Jo's matron of honor at her wedding.  Our siblings,children and parents all came together for holiday celebrations.

Once she retired, she and David became golfaholics. Even as she battled cancer - first breast, then colon, then lung - she would have chemo treatments one week and golf the next.  The clubhouse was her church and the members were her extended family.  Her greatest trophy was "Most Improved" in her first year of playing.

Jo left us on June 2 of this year, her beloveds in attendance. None of us know how we will adjust to a future without her. But we will set a place for her this Thanksgiving, toast her spirit and give
thanks to her for bringing us together.

She asked that memorial donations be given to One Nurse At A Time - nurse scholarships will be given in her name to further the work she so ardently supported.

Sue Averill, President One Nurse AT A Time

What you leave behind is not what is engraved in stone monuments, but what is woven into the lives of others. ~Pericles

Remembrances in Jo's honor can be sent to to One Nurse at a Time, 7747 38th Ave NE, Seattle, WA 98115