One nurse’s story

This is the fourth of the APNs Transforming Care series brought to you by the Johnson & Johnson Campaign for Nursing’s Future.

By Janice Petrella Lynch, MSN, RN F

or as long as Jennifer Viner, MS, CNRN, NP, can remember, she wanted to help the vulnerable and underserved. And as an

NP, she has been able to do that and much more — working with patients and families in the U.S. and around the world. Born and raised in Canada, Viner pursued her

diploma of nursing and BSN there and worked as a bedside nurse for two years. As a new staff nurse, she traveled to Mexico where she provided primary care to the people in the fi shing village of Zihuatanejo. Being able to practice autonomously and provide care to those in need solidifi ed Viner’s desire to pursue her NP degree. In 2007, she became a full-time student at the UCSF School of

Nursing Adult Nurse Practitioner Program while working full time in the UCSF neuro ICU. “It was diffi cult doing both, but by continuing to work, I maintained professional relationships and had a number of job off ers before I graduated,” she said. “My colleagues recognized my dedication and hard work, so it paid off .” During clinical rotations, Viner was exposed to a number of NP

practice settings, she said, some of which she didn’t know existed. After graduation in 2009, she accepted a position as an NP with the Department of Neurological Surgery at UCSF, and she still practices there today. Viner primarily works with patients with brain tumors and hydrocephalus. She is involved in their care from diagnosis through hospitalization, discharge and follow-up, working closely with referring physicians and interdisciplinary team members. “I am incredibly grateful to work in a profession where I can

improve the quality of life of others,” Viner said. “It is such a blessing to make a positive diff erence in my patients’ health and well-being, and I am humbled by the expressions of gratitude I receive from them every day.” At the medical center, she educates staff nurses working with

neurologically compromised patients, and as an assistant clinical professor at the UCSF School of Nursing, she works with NP students

16 Visit us at • 2016 Jennifer Viner, RN

in the clinical setting. Viner also collaborates with UCSF residents, publishing research papers and presenting fi ndings on new treatment modalities and innovative medical technologies at regional and national conferences. In recent years, Viner pursued her lifelong dream

of educating and caring for those in impoverished and underserved countries throughout the world. She has volunteered with nonprofi t organizations such as Health Volunteers Overseas and T e Flying Doctors and has created her own opportunities

for global volunteerism. “It is an exciting way to see the world, learn about diff erent cultural beliefs, nursing practices and ways to maximize limited resources, and it has deepened my own nursing practice,” she said. In 2014, she traveled to Bhutan where she helped set up the fi rst

Hydrocephalus Program at the National Referral Hospital in T imphu. In 2015, she provided care on the wards and education in the class- room at the Sihanouk Hospital for Hope in Phnom Penh in Cambodia. “Because many educated persons were killed during the genocide, the nurses and medical staff there rely heavily on foreign professionals to mentor them,” she said. During those two years, Viner also provided primary care in remote

fi shing villages on the Baja Peninsula of Mexico, and this past spring she traveled to Haiti with a group of neurosurgeons to perform neu- rosurgical procedures at the teaching hospital in Mirebalais. T is fall she will be traveling to a community hospital in Northern India. “T e world recognizes the NP as a leader in the profession, and

nurses I have worked with abroad are kind and generous and pleased to have our assistance,” said Viner. “T ey want to know how we prac- tice, how we work as a team and how our standards might be used in their countries. As nurses, we share a common mission, that is, to care for the health and well-being of our patients and their families.” •

Janice Petrella Lynch, MSN, RN, is nurse editor/nurse executive.

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