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

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Happy New Year Wishes from One Nurse At A Time

Can you believe that the year is already coming to an end? I find it amazing as I get older how much faster time seems to fly. It's almost as if my life is on a constant fast forward!

One Nurse At A Time has had a wonderful year, but we also had several sad parts along the way- we lost two of our very active and incredibly valuable volunteer nurses - Staci Kelley and Nancy Leigh Harless. Both nurses gave their heart and soul to the organization and were incredibly gifted in their talents!

With losing two volunteers we also gained help as well!  Our team has grown in leaps and bounds this year. We are very happy to have David Fox, Helen Jose and Christine Van Horn be part of our team. The three of them have provided tremendous energy and work towards our goals and mission.

As usual Sue has been working non-stop! She has met with several people this year, connecting and marketing our organization, even to top organizations like the Red Cross!  With Sue's never-ending energy, she gives us all life and energy to continue our work for the mission and goals of One Nurse At A Time.

Jo's Mission will be a the big kick-off for the beginning of 2013. We are excited and ready to start the process of assisting new nurse volunteers merge into the volunteering community. We will be reporting on the mission and updating our blog with it's progress.

Lastly, if you have not had the opportunity to see our latest short film we would love for you to take about 3 minutes and watch - we are very honored to be working for this organization and we hope that we can continue to provide assistance, education and help to those who have the passion and drive to volunteer throughout our world.

Here is our video:

Thank you for a wonderful year, looking forward to what 2013 brings us!



Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Swaziland: Because One Child Matters - By Lauren Carroll

I recently traveled to Swaziland with the organization One Child Matters formally known as Mission of Mercy.  This trip was my second medical mission trip, my first being India. When I was in nursing school my dream was to travel to Africa and help the amazing people.  I was excited when those pieces started to fall into place.  In November, I spent a memorable ten days learning the Swazi culture, meeting new people and forming lasting bonds.  

A group of twenty five dedicated people came together to serve one purpose, to help the people of Swaziland. The team consisted of eight clinical examiners, two dietitians,  three pharmacy workers, and many support people.  We set up medical clinics in five different care points with the help of Children’s Cup.  In our time in Swaziland we were able to care for 1111 children and adults!

Swaziland is a very beautiful country and I enjoyed being able to spend time with the citizens of Swaziland in their element.  I loved getting to know the translators and building a rapport with them as they would even anticipate which questions we would ask the patients next!  

One moment that was both thrilling and memorable was when I realized the children were truly benefiting from having the Children’s Cup nurse visit them often.  Let me elaborate. As I said earlier I went to India on my first medical mission trip and there was a noticeable difference in the health of these children verses the children in India.  Jessie, the missionary nurse that works hands on with Children’s Cup visits these children regularly to give them checkups and medicines as needed. She is also able to refer them to which doctor they need to follow up with.  The children were still sick and we were able to give them medicines to help the symptoms but knowing they were going to get the follow up they needed even after our team left was very comforting!

Another touching memory would have to be a young child that was sitting by the fire one day as we were taking our lunch break.  It was cold in Swazi this particular day, the boy had on only shorts and a t-shirt with no shoes or even socks.  The caregivers were feeding the local children their food and gave the boy some of the extra food.  His face then lit up and he smiled from ear to ear.  Some of the team members then gave him socks, shoes, and shirts they had brought with them to the care point.  He was warm and full with a huge smile of his face! I realized that is what we are here for to show God’s love to these amazing people!

Watching these children come to the care points with no shoes or jackets walking over two hours to get food was a humbling experience for me.  It is very easy to take everything for granted in America because things are so accessible. To watch the joy that is in these children and the love they have for each other is inspiring. I have honestly learned the joy that comes from the simpleness in life.

The medical mission trip to Swaziland is part of what is building how I view life, shaping my lifestyle.  How I now view my patients is different because I have learned so much about myself as well as my purpose. I am a nurse because God has called me into that career to help others and show His amazing love no matter where I find myself.

I want to thank you, One Nurse at A Time for giving me the opportunity to go on this life changing adventure.  It was a blessing to be able to teach, learn with, and love the amazing people of Swaziland!

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Jo's Nurses - First One Nurse At A Time Mission

We now have a firm plan for a trip in February 2013 and would like to hear from you of your interest.

There is space for 4 nurses - 2 from Feb 16-23 and 2 from Feb 23 - Mar 2.

Location:  Guatemala.  First week will be working in villages around Rio Dulce in the northeast.  Second week is working in villages around Monte Rico in the southwest.  Flights are in and out of Guatemala City.  I will be accompanying both weeks to be your support/mentor.

Cost to you/Commitment:  $250.  One Nurse At A Time, Jo's Nurses program will pay the rest of your trip costs (approximately $1000 per person).  You must also make a moral commitment to do another volunteer trip by the end of 2014.  Our hope is this mission will get you over the "hump" of going on a first mission, that you will be excited and eager to volunteer again somewhere around the world.

You will also be expected to attend planning meetings and packing meetings prior to the trip to get comfortable with your teammates and participate in the preparations.  At least 1 planning and 1 packing are required (unless you're out of the Seattle area, then we'll provide reading material and phone calls to bring you up to date).  Meetings are 1/5 and 1/26 0930 - noon (usually at Group Health Central) and packing is 2/2 and 2/9 0930 until finished (also at Group Health)

Organization is Guatemala Village Health.  Spanish is helpful, but not an absolute requirement as translators are available.  You'll be asked to not only be flexible and take on various tasks, but will also be asked to assume a specific role such as triage (and teaching triage techniques to the local nurses), patient education (they've done groups for patients about dehydration, back pain, headache, skin issues, for example 5-10 patients with similar issues and give out Tums, tylenol, ibuprofen, etc.)  Training of nursing staff - sharing what and how we work here in the US with the local nurses and health promoters who have much less formal training.  They see lots of diabetics, hypertension, prenatal care, malnutrition ... These will be less clinic based and more village based, and an opportunity to be with people in their home environments.

Please express your interest prior to December 15.  Send an email to  Include a brief introduction of who you are, what your nursing background is and tell us why you want to participate in this mission, how this will impact your career/life, what you anticipate your future in volunteering to be.  Tell us what you do well, what you don't.  What you bring to this mission and why you should be selected to participate.  Don't forget your contact information!  I'll follow up with each of you, conduct a phone interview and present candidates to the board of directors for a decision before the end of December.

Let me know of any questions and hope to hear from you by Dec 15.


Thursday, December 6, 2012

Mission Trip to Swaziland - By Carleen Rogers

Carleen Rogers is a scholarship recipient who recently returned from her mission.  This is her story.

My recent trip to Swaziland was my sixth international medical mission trip and my second opportunity to visit that particular country. Swaziland has a special place in my heart.  Diseases such as TB, malaria, respiratory illnesses, parasite, fungal and skin infections ravage this country just like most third world countries however, 18% of the sweet people of Swaziland are living with HIV and there are an estimated 69,000 HIV related orphans in Swaziland.  This trip allowed our team to have a small impact on this population by offering medical assessments, medications, reading glasses, and medical referrals. We also just get the chance to smile, touch a hand and offer an ear to listen. 
Our twenty-five member Medical Mercy team traveled together to Swaziland to set up medical clinics at five Children’s Cup care points throughout the small country.   There were eight members of our team that are assessing clinicians, three members that provide pharmacy services, two dieticians and multiple support members.  The team meshed well with one another even though we were from all over the United States and many were meeting for the first time.  Our team was able to provide medical care to eleven hundred and eleven children and community members. 
One of the highlights of my trip was a step away for the clinics for the day to attend a palliative care conference held at the Hope House in Manzini.  Hospice and palliative care is my passion and life work here in the United States so being a part of palliative care in Swaziland was a culmination of my passion for missions and for palliative care.  I was able to offer assessment and treatment options for some of the current patients at Hope House and participate in conversations about improving the end of life care in Swaziland.  My prayer is to return to Swaziland to assist in their efforts in the near future.  
I want to sincerely thank One Nurse at A Time for the gift that enabled me to participate in this trip.  The trip was a blessing in my life and I pray that God used me as a blessing in the lives of the sweet people of Swaziland.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

The Liberian Handshake - by Liza Leukhardt

 As I sit at my desk attempting to put into words my experience as a mission nurse in Liberia and Guinea I have in front of me two photos that I took during a service at the Christian Revival Church in Monrovia.  I’m trying to understand why these two are my favorites, despite all the sweet ones I took of the many children who surrounded us everywhere we went.  I’m not a particularly religious person, although I do consider myself quite spiritual.  It’s impossible not to be, after twenty years of being a hospice nurse caring for souls and hearts as well as bodies.  I do pray a lot, for peace, for understanding, for a deep and caring connection with my fellow humans.  One of my favorite writers, Annie Lamott says that the only prayers we need are “help” and “thank you”.  I agree.
    I’ve never been much of a churchgoer.  The catholic rituals of my 1950’s childhood pretty much terrified it out of me.  I’ve always found my transcendent experiences in art, nature and music, which can all easily move me to tears.  And yet this particular service in a simple brick church in one of the world’s poorest countries moved me just as much.
    I want to say it was fun, but that’s putting it mildly.  People sang at the top of their lungs, beat the drums, danced and prayed with total abandon.  They let themselves go with the pure joy of their spirits and welcomed me as a friend.  I found myself tearing up a few times because such expressions of spirit are rare for me to witness.  I found myself praying “thank you, thank you, thank you” because my heart was singing with the joy of knowing I was in exactly the right place at exactly the right moment.
    These two photos are of two beautiful Liberian women singing and smiling radiantly into the camera.  They are dressed to the nines in their best church clothes, absolutely glowing with the joy of the moment.  I can’t help grinning when I look at these remembering how, moments later I was pulled into the dance myself.  I found that all I needed to do in Liberia was put my hands out, to be immediately seized by the hand of a smiling Liberian with a warm and friendly touch.
    And yes, all of us teammates needed to put our hands out many times during this trip.  Starting with the delayed arrival of one of the team, going on to the 14 hour truck ride to a remote village on the Liberian border with Guinea over potholes and through mud, to the ultimate abandoning of the truck to the mud, and taking ourselves and all of our medical supplies the 7 miles to Guinea by motorcycle, we put our hands out to the Liberians and prayed, “help, help, help.”  And we were always heard and there were always hands ready to hold us and pull us through.
    The experience was far from purely spiritual.  I have a sense of humor and so does God.  I had been praying to be more grounded, but I didn’t expect to be squishing through mud up to my ankles, or having the mud cushion my fall when flying off a motorcycle.  It was pretty hilarious putting my esoteric holistic nursing knowledge of proper bowel care to the test while squatting in a latrine.  And though I do enjoy nature, being awakened at 3 am by roosters, goats and a spider the size of my hand crawling across my pillow is an entirely different matter.  I can’t wait to do it again!
    So, on this snowy afternoon with the wind howling outside my window, I sit at my desk and look fondly at the two beautiful faces smiling at me.  I think of putting my hand out as we were saying good bye to the villagers before leaving for Monrovia.  And I think of how many dozens of hands reached for mine and held it, and the beautiful faces attached to those hands.  And I say, “thank you, thank you, thank you.”

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

So Simple

So, if you are not able to donate your hard earned money this year (totally understandable! It's been a tough year!) Then, may I suggest this awesome website that allows you to continue to donate, but you don't have to pay a dime!
iGive is a GREAT way to donate to our organization. iGive is a very simple browser app. It tells stores that you want a percentage of every purchase you make online donated to your cause or charity...AT NO COST TO YOU!
I just hooked my mom up with the app, unfortunately right after cyber Monday...and after she had already done a lot of her online shopping for Christmas and winter birthdays. But, the great thing was, that she was easily able to sign-up and she said "If a 65 year-old can figure it out, it must be simple!"
Here is our customized link to get you started:

Please consider joining up for this super easy app! :)

Thanks as always-


Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Volunteer Opportunity - El Salvador

We were recently contacted by the Southwest Chapter of the National Healing the Children non-profit organization. This organization has been working for over 30 years to provide medical care to children in need. The organization has 13 chapters nationwide, and with many International Partners, they are committed to meeting the healthcare needs of children worldwide.

The Southwest Chapter is located in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Since 1989 Healing the Children Southwest has supported three major programs -

Hardship Relief Project - which is for children in New Mexico (formerly "Local Children Program")
International Pediatric Surgical and Medical Trips - Latin America
International Inbound Children - children who come to Albuquerque from around the world

Healing the Children SW Chapter is on the look out for operating room nurses for a surgical trip to Santiago Texacuangos, El Salvador. They are requesting that this is posted early, as El Salvador is a country that requires "Apostilles" which may take longer to obtain from some states. An "Apostille" is a form of authentication issues to documents for use in countries that participate in the 1961 Hague Convention.

The trip is specific to ENT and plastics for children to the age of 17. The trip will take place in March 9th-16th. All volunteers will pay for air, lodging and meals, there is a less expensive choice for lodging if you desire. The hospital that the organization will be working at is called La Divina Providencia - the organization has been returning to work there since 2006 and welcomes nurses willing to take on the challenge of operating in less-than-familiar settings.

If you are interested, please contact Bobbye at or call 505-401-8576

If there is anyone who has experience traveling with this organization, please contact us and let us know how your trip went, if you have any advice or suggestions, any or all information is welcome.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Excellent Toolkits from AANP

One of our scholarship nurses Jenn Tucker, RN posted this great informational from American Academy of Nurse Practioners. On their website AANP Toolkit they have a tab dedicated to "Education". Under this tab, they have various different types of education for nurses, nursing professionals, or moms, dads, grandparents or whoever!

The topic I looked at is Safety Matters: Pediatric Medication Safety

What an excellent resource for parents- it had all the information you will ever need when it comes to giving your child a medication- right down to the specifics on the medication bottle you receive from the pharmacist. Excellent!

The other topics on the website include:
- A Pathway to Better Health
- A Road Map to Managing your Triglycerides and Protecting Your Heart
- Fibromyalgia
- von Willebrand Disease
- Road Map to Teen Health: Adolescent Health Promotion
- A Breath of Fresh Air: Living with COPD
- Preceptor NP

A major tip when using this website, download or save the pdf to your computer. It saves time and is sooo much faster than trying to toggle through the pages on the actual website.

The great thing about these toolkit is they are designed by AANP's as they are desgined to keep Nurse Practioners informed on important health issues and to assist them in educating their patients.  There are new toolkits being developed all the time, so check back at their website frequently for more information.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Post Birthday/Election Catch up

Ok, so I've slacked a little this week, what can I say it was my birthday on Tuesday and I was celebrating! :)

There is a lot to catch you all up on, first I have several medical missions to tell you about that came through on our email a week or so ago. It looks like they have several trips planned for 2013, so check them out and let us know if you are going - we would like to hear about your experience and/or give you an opportunity to apply for a scholarship for financial assistance.

2013 The Lutheran Church Missouri Synod (LCMS) Mercy Medical Teams 

Service Opportunities as listed below:

1. Madagascar - March 14-24   Clinical Team
2. Haiti - June 7-16   Clinical Team
3. Kenya - July 11-21   Clinical Team
4. Madagascar - August 1-11   Clinical Team
5. Kyrgyzstan - September   Community Health Education Team
6. Peru - October  Community Health Education Team
7. Kenya - November 7-17   Clinical Team

LCMS Mercy Medical Teams are currently accepting applications for medical professionals and hard working non-medical professionals to provide voluntary service in a short-term, primary care, clinical setting. These traveling, temporary, off-site rural clinics will bring desperately needed healthcare to some of the most under-served rural areas around the glove.

LCMS is looking for dedicated medical professionals including physicians, NP's, PA's, RN's, pharmacists and hard-working laity.

Ground expenses are estimated at: $1250-$1500 (for all inclusive food, lodging, ground transportation, and additional clinical supplies and meds) plus airfare. (Don't have funding now? Contact us for a flexible payment options and fund development strategies and tools for raising support!)

If you have any questions about these trips, or other opportunities, visit: LCMS Mercy Teams or feel free to call:

Jacob Fiene
Manager, Health and Medical Projects
LCMS Mercy Medical Teams
800-248-1930 ext. 1278

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Upcoming webinars

Totally late on getting info up on these webinar's - apologies! :) 

"YOU STUCK WHAT WHERE? - Foreign Objects in Triage"

   - Monday November 5th, 2012 4pm ET
    - Speaker: Jeff Solheim
     - Location:

"Pharmacology Refresher for Cardiac Meds - PART 2"
   - Wednesday November 14th, 2012 7pm ET
    - Speaker: Cammy House-Fancher
     - Location

--> To Access Webinars:

1. Join (For Free) at by entering your email in the Get Started Now box and hit GO.
2. Wait for your welcome email that contains login info and then return to the and click on the Member Sign In tab in the upper right
3. See webinar page for resources

Recent Archives Available for Viewing on RNsights
·    Bed Bugs: Reality Check & Appropriate Responses for Health Personnel by Dr. Pollack PhD
·    Current Controversies in Trauma Care by Jeff Solheim
·    Pharmacology Refresher for Cardiac Meds – Part 1 by Cammy House-Fancher
·    Biology and Management of Head Lice by Dr. Richard Pollack, PhD

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Nursing Opportunities in Rwanda

The Rwanda Ministry of Health’s Human Resources for Health Program has several nursing openings for clinical nursing and midwifery faculty. The positions are available immediately and require at least a six month commitment.

Recruitment is also beginning for full time faculty for year 2, which begins August 1, 2013.

Faculty are employed by United States Universities, which means all applicants must be employable in the US. Nurses or midwives with experience across most specialty areas are encouraged to apply.

Here is a little more detailed information on the Rwanda HRH Program. The program represents a new model for health education and the delivery of foreign aid (as written on their website):

-       The project will create a new paradigm for cooperation between US academic institutions and academic institutions in Rwanda
-       Instead of small scale cooperative efforts between individual academic institutions involving exchanges of a few people, this will be a coordinated approach intended to upgrade medical and nursing professions in a comprehensive way according to national government plan.
-       US academic institutions will make a commitment that is unprecedented in global health. They will supply full-time medical, nursing, health management and dentistry faculty and collaborate with each other on all aspects of health professionals’ education.
-       The Government of Rwanda will contract with the US academic institutions. Responsibility, control and accountability will rest with the Rwanda Government.
-       After 8 years, the Rwanda Government is positioned to sustain the improved health workforce on its own without foreign aid.

For more information, go to

Friday, November 2, 2012

Barco's Nightingales Foundation

We recently and graciously were offered a $5000.00 donation from the amazing organization Barco's Nightingales Foundation. Their foundation was established in December of 2008 by Michael and Frida Donner on behalf of Barco Uniforms. Their donation to One Nurse At A Time is their way of saluting the countless numbers of nurse volunteers we send around the world, caring and helping for people of all cultures.

Barco’s Nightingales Foundation objective is to support the vitality and courageous heart of nursing, while also dedicating themselves to honoring the spirit of those women and men who choose nursing by focusing their philanthropic efforts on helping to mend the lives of children and their families.

Missions for Humanity
We have already had the grand opportunity of selecting our first Barco’s Nightingales Scholarship Recipient, Wendy Libowitz, who will be traveling with Missions for Humanity next year from July 5th to July 19th 2013. More details to come on her trip soon!

Barco’s Nightingales has asked if we would include information about a survey looking at the Image of Nursing. It is their goal to elevate the perception of the profession and to help people understand and appreciate all that go into being a nurse. The feedback provided from the survey will be essential in accomplishing their goal.

Barco’s Nightingales Foundation has completed an initial qualitative phase of the research for the project and the information received during the interviews has been invaluable in all efforts.

The next phase of their project is to validate and provide statistical data to support the qualitative feedback gathered thus far.   Their research partner, Bovitz, Inc., has crafted an online survey and the link is below.  They survey is approximately 15 minutes in length and all answers will be kept strictly confidential and used for research purposes only.  Please be objective and honest in your responses as the validity in the data they receive is very important.

Please click the link below to start the survey, or copy and paste the
URL into a new browser window.

Thank you Barco's Nighingales Foundation for your generous support. We appreciate all that you do!


Tuesday, October 30, 2012

After the storm - Hurricane Sandy

After the disaster, what can you do to help? The three top organizations out there to help with Hurricane Sandy are The Red Cross, The Salvation Army and FEMA. The Red Cross by far has the easiest website to navigate for assistance. Here is the site: FIND HELP - RED CROSS  The Red Cross also has excellent information listed on their twitter feed and on their Facebook page.  Red Cross Facebook Page

The other two organizations also have easy to follow directions to find help. For the Salvation Army, select a state and then follow the directions for shelters or emergency assistance. I found the best up to date information was their twitter feed as well as their Facebook page. Both provided excellent information that was posted at least every 12 hours. Salvation Army Facebook Page 

Information listed on FEMA’s page has great resources for shelter services: To find a shelter, individuals can download the Red Cross Hurricane app, visit the Red Cross web site, or call 1-800- RED CROSS (1-800-733-3767) or check our local media outlets. Other things you can do is to register on the Red Cross Safe and Well website, a secure and easy-to-use online tool that helps families connect during emergencies. To register, visit or call 1-800-RED-CROSS (1-800-733-2767).

FEMA’s distribution centers have an overall inventory of more than 5 million liters of water, 3 million meals, 900,000 blankets and 100,000 cots. FEMA and the Department of Defense have established Incident Support Bases in Westover, Mass. And Lakehurst, New Jersey to pre-position supplies including water, meals, blankets and other resources closer to potentially impacted areas.

Other great information is found here: and The FEMA mobile site ( , smartphone app (, and text messages ( also provide regular updates. Sharing information using social media tools is also a good way for residents to stay informed. Follow FEMA online at ,, and www.facebook/fema and

I hope I have given out information that can be helpful if you are in need, but if you would like to help with establishing shelters, giving food, or emergency medical assistance here are your resources. Interestingly on FEMA’s website, the easiest way to volunteer and help is to provide a financial contribution to a recognized disaster relief organization. As you can imagine, this allows the organization to fund response and recovery efforts, obtain goods and services locally, and provide direct financial assistance to disaster survivors to meet their own needs. If you need help with deciding which organization to give to, a National Voluntary Organization Active in Disaster website has a list of major non-profits that are active in disaster work. 

If you are interested in giving a hand- here is your best bet: Volunteer with a local organization to help with the disaster victims. Ideally if you volunteer, register and are trained in disaster relief you are able to provide it when the next big event occurs. Many organizations and faith-based groups in your community have active disaster response programs that are always looking for volunteers.
The following groups are a list of suggestions for disaster volunteerism:
Lastly, if you are unable to physically help, or financially help, organizations will always take in donated goods such as clothing, miscellaneous household items, and mixed or perishable food.

We are praying for those affected by the hurricane and pray that aid and help comes quickly to those in needs. Please keep them close in your heart and prayers.

          - ONAAT

***If you are any of these organizations we are always looking to provide information to nurses about immediate needs or urgent needs, so if you have one, please contact us at

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Race Day

The morning was dark, cold, and the clouds were heavy, not an unusual day in Seattle. I awoke with the sound of rain splattering against the roof and windows. Another wet Saturday, but today we were going to spend it walking/running at Seward Park.

Quickly, I sent text and email to the crew- "Is everyone still walking in the rain?" Immediately I got a text back from Christine "Rain or shine, I will be there." Upon reading that, I got a little sad, because  my bed was OOHHH so cozy...but then quickly dismissed it and thought, heck yeah, let's get out there and do this! :)

We all arrived at different times, as we were traveling from different parts of the Seattle area. I had my two kids in tow - both with snow suits on, 5 blanket piled on top of them and snug in the double stroller with snacks in hand.

The turnout was surprising, especially since it was raining sideways, windy and freezing cold...people were still joyful and dressed up in their fabulous Halloween costumes. Surprisingly there were tons of kids running and in costumes - that was an try and beat them across the finish line. ha ha!  I actually got smoked by a 12 year old just 0.1 to the finish line.
There were tons of ladybugs, Luigi's and Super Mario's, as well as super scary ghosts. Sue said the best was a family of hotdogs - the kids were the toppings, ketchup, mustard, and the like! It was great. Lots of dogs also turned out in their costumes, I tried to keep my running pace with a black lab dressed as a skunk, but I failed to run as fast.

In the end, we were soaking wet, red faced and happy to be out raising money for an excellent cause. We raised $265.00 towards Neighborcare health, a King County program to assist Seattle's most vulnerable homeless residents to get the health care they need. All of the proceeds from the Pumpkin Push went to support programs serving patients who are homeless at Neighborcare Health.

Thanks to everyone who participated and joined in! And thank you to our supporters who helped donate to the cause!

Till next year!

          ONAAT CREW

Friday, October 26, 2012

Ever Ready ER Nurse

  October is the month of several things, its Breast Cancer Awareness, Lupus Awareness, National Fire Prevention week, Domestic Violence Awareness, Dwarfism Awareness, Rett Syndrome Awareness, Pregnancy Loss and Infant Loss Awareness, Emergency Nurses Week, Physician Assistants Week, Auto Battery Safety Month, Autism Awareness, and even National Squirrel Awareness Month. It’s frankly a very busy month.

What I would like to guide you into thought is a couple of things. First be aware of those listed today and throughout the month. Secondly, how do you support your awareness months? Do you take clothes or toys to your local women's shelter? 

Since October sparks thoughts of others during this month, I also want to reflect upon the inevitable. Halloween is the start of a several holidays. It is also the start of high school dances, college football games, family get-together and holiday parties. Because October is such a busy month – I would really like to invite you to think about those around you and prepare yourself, your family, and your friends for the up-coming winter months.

My thoughts traveled to these two separate topics, partly because of Hurricane Sandy and the destruction that the hurricane has already left in its path. But also because tomorrow One Nurse At A Time is participating in a benefit for "Care for Seattle's Homeless" at Seward Park's "Pumpkin Push" 5k and 2 mile walk. I should also mention that I tend to be sightly obsessive when it comes to emergency preparedness, sometimes my husband scoffs at me a bit when I tell him that I really really really want him to make sure he has his emergency kit in his truck, but I like to think of myself as the "Ever Ready ER Nurse". 

With that in mind, I know I put out an emergency preparedness info listing of things you should keep in your house, but I thought today it may be helpful to list some sights that may have those packs and items already for you to buy and place in your car, home or at work. Today, I thought I would review a couple of bags and gear that can be easily found online for you to purchase for your Emergency/Disaster Kit.

Of course the first item that would be apparent for emergency preparedness kits would be the American Red Cross First Aid / Emergency Kits, here is a great link to many differing types of kits you can buy for different parts of your day/life. Go here to check it out --> Red Cross Store

-     These kits are great, unless your home is destroyed – if so, there has been reports that when you wear a red/yellow “emergency” bag you are more visible to other people who are not prepared and they will most likely want to take your pack it is bright and easy to see that it is an emergency bag.

-     The other thing about this site is that they are selling each item separately. So if you want a 4 person emergency kit, you will have to buy several things to make it work. I didn’t work out the financial details to compare them to the rest, but it seemed like a little bit of a hassle if you are trying to find something for the whole family.

Next up is a store online called EDS Emergency Disaster Systems. These kits are similar to the kits/buckets that Costco was selling up in Washington this last year. Go here to check them out --> EDS Emergency Disaster Systems

-     These kits have enough food and water in them to last four people 72 hours. They have great “grab and go” designs for at work, or the “essentials” bag. Again, the bag is read and has the words “Emergency Kit” written on the outside. The bucket is not bad, it is white and the lettering is small enough that you could probably get away with ripping off the sticker and walking down the street. But if you have to carry it a long way it could be a pain. The larger bag has the works, even a tube tent, and 70 piece first aid kit.

Costco’s American Preparedness Emergency Backpack Kit. This one is pretty cool. It thinks of the down time and has a deck of cards and coloring books for the kids. Costco American Preparedness Emergency Backpack Kit

-     The weight on this pack is 30 lbs. and as any backpacker knows, that’s a lot of gear for little weight (no sleeping bags..etc). However, this is probably the most all around solid pack. It has a hygiene kit, food/water and other contents kit, and a first aid kit. Not bad for $140.00  Again this is designed to care for 4 people. So if you have a larger family, consider buying two.

So, I can’t leave out Amazon. I would have to say that Amazon has the mother of all disaster bags…the BUG OUT BAG or as the experts call it “BOB”. There are several good reviews on amazon of BOB gear and what to put into your pack. I think I have found the all mighty reviewer, because this person has tried, tested and swears by the materials in his bag. Here you go --> Amazon

-      I might leave out the crush-able hat, but that’s just me. Otherwise the bag, gear and stuff listed is great!

Well, I hope I have given you some food for thought at the end of this last month. It is going to be a doozy of a winter and I hope all of you take some time to reflect upon being prepared for everything. I also hope that I have opened your eyes to the different awareness ribbons and issues, so that you can take some time to give a little, share with others or just reflect. 

Cheers - ONAAT Crew

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Pumpkin Push

It's that time of year again- time to get in shape, (before the holidays =)) and donate to help out your local community. We are joining the Pumpkin Push this October as it benefits more than 8,000 homeless and recently homeless patients through a program which provides primary medical and dental care in Seattle.

Neighborcare Health is the largest provider of primary medical and dental care in Seattle for low income and uninsured families and individuals. Neighborcare Health has served our community for more than 40 years.
The Pumpking Push is a timed 5K run or 2 mile walk around Seward Park in South Seattle. My family has participated in the Pumpkin Push for 2 years, this being the 3rd! What is the most fun about the day is seeing all of the great costumes that people come dressed up as! At the finish line there is a festival hosted by sponsors of the race with prizes for top-finishers, give-aways, food and beverages, long-sleeved Pumpkin Push t-shirts and Halloween fun including a costume contest and complimentary pumpkins.
One Nurse At A Time has organized a team to run/walk in the event and hopes to spread the word about caring for Seattle's Homeless and encouraging them to get the health care they need. All proceeds from the Pumpkin Push support programs serving patients who are homeless at Neighborcare Health.
In 2011, Neighborcare Health provided health care to more than 8,000 homeless adults, seniors, children and unaccompanied youth - the highest number of homeless patients served in their 44 year history.
We are excited to be there and if you would like to join us, go here -> Register
If you can't join us, please consider sponsoring us as your contribution allows Neighborcare Health to continue to care for an uninsured, homeless child or adult. Our donation goal is $500.00, and we are currently at $265.00. Please help us meet our goal!
When: October 27th, 2012
Where: Seward Park, Seattle
To learn more please visi:

Monday, October 15, 2012 announces Mountain West Nursing Excellence Awards!

On the night of August 10th celebration and recognition for the 24 regional finalists of’s 2012 Nursing Excellence Program was held at the Wild Horse Pass Hotel & Casino in Chandler, Arizona. Judith G. Berg RN MS FACHE, was the host of the evening as well as the former vice president and nurse executive of West and Heartland/Midwest editions.

From’s website:
“We consider it a true privilege to recognize nursing excellence in this beautiful way,” Eileen Williamson, RN, MSN, senior vice president and CNE at Gannett Healthcare Group, publisher of, said about the program. “We wait with great anticipation for this night all year; truly it is one of the highlights of the year for us at”

Each of the 24 Nursing Excellence regional finalists was given a corsage and received a plaque bearing his or her name and regional achievement. Of those 24, six extraordinary nurses were chosen to represent Mountain West in the national Nurse Excellence awards to be announced this fall. The six regional winners each received an elegant sail-shaped, etched-glass award to commemorate the evening.

The program's national sponsors are The Johnson & Johnson Campaign for Nursing's Future and University of Phoenix College of Nursing. 

Our very own Sue Averill won the Mountain West Nursing Excellence Award for Volunteerism and Service.

Here is what had to say about her:

Sue Averill, RN, BSN, CEN, MBA, president and co-founder, One Nurse At A Time, and ED nurse, Swedish Medical Center, Seattle

When faced with the choice of continuing to work for a luxurious cruise line or working in undeveloped, inhospitable and far-flung places, Averill chose the work that paid her nothing. 

A nurse for 33 years in the ED, her own home care company, hospital management and business operations for Holland America, Averill changed course midstream in 1996 when she decided to work as a per-diem nurse stateside and as a volunteer nurse anywhere else that needed her.

Averill’s humanitarian work began with the 1985 earthquake in Mexico when she and 19 others grabbed their gear, flew south and helped set up a free clinic. Some time later, Guatemala called. Then Liberia. Then Ethiopa, Uganda, Nigeria, Cambodia, Darfur, South Sudan, the Philippines and Pakistan, where mothers and grandmothers of girls having surgeries wanted to take care of her.

“They were so kind and so loving and wanted to take me in,” Averill said. “They’d say, ‘Come up here on the bed with us,’ and we’d sit around together. I had a lipstick with a mirror. I’d take it out and put on the lipstick and then pass it around. Pretty soon everyone had on bright red lipstick and there was this huge bonding over it. Lipstick was not allowed in Pakistan society, but we could do that as this secret little group of women at the hospital.”

Averill said every country and group of people, no matter how different they were in terms of security concerns or heartbreaking situations, became a passionate interaction that made her feel alive. “Your focus is totally different,” she said. “Everything is new and you notice every little thing. Stepping away from our routine makes us feel alive. I come back from missions a better person, and then I also like nursing better.”

To connect other nurses to the satisfying experience of humanitarian work, Averill founded One Nurse At A Time, which links nurses with volunteer opportunities, offers scholarships for travel costs and provides preparatory information on international work and diseases uncommon in this country. Tens of thousands of underserved people across the world have received medical services through ONAAT’s support of nurses, her nominator said, and it is the go-to resource for volunteering information.

Averill, however, believes she is the lucky one. “I’m just this little nurse in Seattle and look at this amazing life I’ve been allowed to live,” she said. 


Thursday, October 11, 2012

Mission Impossible?

Since you read our blog, or are a fan of our Facebook page, twitter, or pinterest, you either have been on a mission or are interested in going on one. Well this post will specifically address those who haven’t been on a mission…yet. J

This is the picture I want to have in my head when I think about going on my first mission.  J

So, how do you start the process? I wrote a while back about the process of becoming a Red Cross Volunteer and hopefully gave good instructions on how that works, but what if you want to volunteer with an organization that isn’t as big as the Red Cross?

Several of the organizations we highlight weekly are not the bigger humanitarian organizations such as Doctors without Borders and the Red Cross. It’s difficult to find an organization if you do not know what you are looking for. Luckily we have made it a little bit easier for you.

With those thoughts in mind, I started to think about what my plans are going to be for this next year. Do I want to go and participate in helping internationally like all of the scholarship applicants I read about? I have a lot to think about- I have two young kids under the age of 3. I wonder how will my husband handle it? Will I be ok traveling by myself without my family and without seeing my husband and kids every night?

So, using what we created on our web page (here) I started to look at “Global Health Nursing”. I’m not totally sure what it means, but I think I have a faint idea and I know FOR sure I can’t handle pediatrics at this point in my life…and with that in mind, pediatrics excludes, disaster response, peds, and possibly women’s health. After deciding what kind of nursing I was interested in the next question on the list wanted to know how far I was willing to go. I selected international. Why? Because I thought, well I do volunteer locally, and I really want to experience health care in Central America or South America (I think Africa is too far for me at this point in my life).

The question “are you interested in an experience that is faith based” is next on the list of questions. For me it doesn’t matter and I would like to have every opportunity present itself first and then choose. The final question is in regards to the length of the trip, I choose short less than 4 weeks and optimally less than 2 weeks would be awesome – (because I think I would truly miss my family WAY too much to go longer).

Up popped about 10-15 different organizations for me to choose from. Excellent! But then I was suddenly overwhelmed. Yikes. What do I do with this information? How do I know which organization is a good fit, or that has had good first mission experiences, would I have help when I was there, what if I didn’t know what to do? The list of questions started to form in my head, and it kept going. I had to start somewhere, so I started to scan each organization by their name. What was interesting was that I recognized a lot of organizations from the scholarship applicants I read with One Nurse At A Time. For me that was refreshing, but I can imagine, for someone who doesn’t have that opportunity, it would be overwhelming to get this giant list and not know what really to do with it.

Since some sounded familiar I picked the first one that my eyes found, Christian Medical Mission Aww…more familiar faces… J What a relief. I click on the details button read the short bio on ONAAT. I recognized that the short bio’s were SOOOO helpful. When I checked out others, I could recognize right away, that I wouldn't be a fit because I could not determine from their organizations name if they were peds specialized or they were stationed in areas that were farther away than Central America.  

After determining I wanted to check out Christian Medical Missions, I simply clicked on the link provided. EASY!  Their website is super easy to navigate! Searching through their next trips, I found one which may work for me, it’s in May of next year. I clicked on the trip details and up pops the needs of mission. Here are the details: Villages surrounding Lake Atitlan, Guatemala, May 11-19th, 2013. What I can’t tell is if they have filled all of their positions for RN’s. It appears that they have one RN that has filled the pharmacy/RN position – so I will email them specifically to ask if the RN positions are filled. For more info about this trip click here.

Wow – before I started I thought it would have been more difficult- but as it turns out WE have a great website that will help you FIND the organizations you want to work with. Yeah!

As a side note, even though we have cancelled Jo’s Mission for this fall, we are definitely looking at opportunities to start it up again this spring. PLEASE STAY tuned!



Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Global Nursing Caucus Conference - UMass

Check out this interesting and informative conference being held at the University of Massachusetts, in Boston. 

Global Nursing Caucus has made it a mission to work at advancing the role of nursing in global health practice, education, and policy through advocacy,collaboration, engagement, and research. 

If you are interested please consider attending this two day conference where discussions will surround -
Nursing Education and Training Initiatives      
Skills for promoting health in resource constrained settings      
Partnerships and collaborations to advance health and the role of nursing 

Two keynote speakers, Toni Hays RN, PhD and Barbara Smith PhD, RN, FAAN will be engaging and empowering nurses in global health. Toni is the president of Regis College and has worked extensively on developing the Regis College Haiti Project. Barbara is a professor at the University of Maryland, School of Nursing. She has worked on many international nursing projects and research studies and is currently the principle investigator in a study Assessing Risk of Exposure to Blood Borne Pathogens among Health Care Workers in Sub-Saharan Africa. 

Registration Fees:
Attendee:  $150 after October 1
Student rate:   $75 after October 1

Please click HERE for the conference schedule
To register please click: REGISTER NOW

Scholarship Information:
A limited number of student scholarships are available.  To apply for a scholarship you must fulfill the following criteria:
            - Student actively enrolled in a graduate or undergraduate nursing or public health program, in good standing
            - Demonstrated interest in global health
            - Willing to volunteer and help at the conference
            - Have a professor send an email (from their school account) attesting you fulfill the above criteria. 
Please send an email to with the subject line “Conference Scholarship Application”; include a short description of your interest in the GNC Conference.  Applications are due by October 10th, 2012.