12 years in the Nevada Air National Guard endowed Registered Nurse Jennifer James with the management skills she employs every day at Renown.
Chatting with a friend in high school had a life-changing impact for Registered Nurse Jennifer James — one that led to a 12-year-and-counting career with the Nevada Air National Guard.
The conversation revolved around the friend’s dad who worked as a recruiter for the army.
“I thought it sounded fun,” Jennifer explains. “So I reached out to a good friend in the Air National Guard, and next thing I knew I was signed up.”
Jennifer, MSN, CNL, CMNL, Manager of Nursing, Roseview ICU, served in the military initially as an EMT/CNA and now as a registered nurse. Her time commitment is one weekend a month and two weeks per year, typically in the summer. However, as you gain more responsibility and move up in rank — she is a Captain — you end up serving more time.
Her responsibilities as a registered nurse include teaching CPR and ACLS to classes of more than 200 people, training and education for the nursing staff, and physical exams ensuring everything is running smoothly and making sure patients get through the system.
For Jennifer, nursing is nursing no matter the setting. Learning to be a leader — that is her big takeaway from the military — is a skill she uses daily at Renown.
“As a leader you are always growing and learning,” Jennifer explains. “And with my military experience I’ve learned how to be a charge nurse, supervisor and now a manager. Being able to delegate, prioritize and deliver crucial conversations — all things I learned in the military — has helped make this job easier.”
While her military service of more than a decade has fulfilled Jennifer in many ways, her deployment to Iraq in 2007 stands out as the highlight.
“It’s always an honor and pleasure to serve our troops but to be able to serve the people and civilians who needed help in another country was truly a special experience,” Jennifer explains.
“To take care of the Iraqi civilians who were in the wrong place at the wrong time and to see their gratitude for medical care we provided that they wouldn’t get otherwise was humbling — there are no words to describe how wonderful it was,” she continues. “There are things that I did and witnessed there that I’ll never forget for the rest of my life.”