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Unitek College Welcomes Veterans Back to School

There were many reasons why Lannel De Los Reyes chose to pursue a nursing career. The most compelling reason was watching her dad suffer through rheumatoid arthritis and gout. She decided to dedicate her life to helping others.

“It just motivated me to become a nurse and take care of people, especially my loved ones,” Reyes said.

Reyes served six years active duty with the Air Force and decided to use her GI Bill to attend Unitek College’s Vocational Nursing program in Fremont, CA. Her ultimate goal is to graduate with a Bachelor in Nursing (BSN) and return to the military.

In the same nursing classroom sits another fellow Air Force veteran, Grecia Benitez. One of Benitez’s motivations to enlist into the Air Force directly out of high school was the educational benefits. After completing 5 years of service, Benitez was ready to start on her career path. During an open house tour at Unitek College, she found the start of her nursing career with the Vocational Nursing program.

Benitez’s plan after college is slightly different from Reyes’s.  While Benitez does not shy away from the idea of returning to the military, she is currently focused on completing the Vocational Nursing program and continuing on to become a Registered Nurse through Unitek College’s LVN to RN bridge program. After finishing school, Benitez plans to either pursue a nursing career in a hospital or rejoin the Air Force.

Benitez and Reyes share both a dedication to their country and a desire to achieve higher learning. The Post 9/11 GI Bill and Montgomery GI bill, amongst other Veterans Assistance (VA) benefits, reward veterans for their service and allow them to pursue higher education.  Although many institutions have yet to accept VA benefits, Unitek College made accepting VA benefits a top priority to make quality education available to America’s returning vets.

The majority of healthcare training programs offered by Unitek College are VA approved. “Unitek College is 100% committed to assisting our dedicated service men and women in making a successful transition into civilian life. Our main priority is to help them obtain the necessary education and training that can be parlayed into a lasting and rewarding career. Serving our veterans is a privilege we don’t take lightly.” Navraj Bawa, COO and Executive Vice President, Unitek College stated in a press release.

“If nursing is what you want to do…I would definitely recommend this school”, Benitez said.

Unitek College anticipates growth in enrollments from veterans who are looking to achieve their goals of higher education. This is particularly true with the recent deep budgetary cuts at public schools. Reyes, in advising other veterans said, “Definitely take advantage of your GI bill. That is part of why I joined the military.”

Are you a VA looking to get into the field of nursing?  Unitek College offers Training in Vocational NursingRegistered Nursing (LVN to RN), Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) and Bachelors of Science in Nursing (RN to BSN).  Contact us today at 888-735-4355 to see how you can get started on a very rewarding career as a nurse.

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California Nurses Join Naval Medical Mission to Haiti and Central America

A group of California-based nurses departed July 21 for a month-long medical mission to Haiti and Central America, announced National Nurses United, the largest nursing union in the United States. The California registered nurses (RN) will join nurse volunteers from Michigan and Washington state as part of the international humanitarian assistance program Continuing Promise 2010.

During their deployment, the nurse volunteers will be stationed aboard the USS Iwo Jima, an amphibious U.S. Naval ship. From July to November, the Continuing Promise volunteers will provide nursing care in temporary clinics located on the coasts of Haiti, Coasta Rica, Colombia, Guatemala, Guyana, Nicaragua, Panama, and Suriname. The nurses will assist patients in these countries on a one-month rotational basis.

The first team of professionals to participate in the mission is comprised of Nurse Practitioners (NP) and Registered Nurses (RNs) who have disaster relief experience and backgrounds in women’s health. Like other kinds of nursing professionals, including Santa Clara LVNs, RNs and Nurse Practitioners undergo specialized training that provides them with the knowledge and skills they need to care for their patients safely and effectively.

San Francisco Bay Area women’s health nurse practitioner Jane Ernstthal is one of the healthcare professionals participating in the Central American-bound mission. She has extensive clinical nursing experience in regions as diverse as Chile, Ecuador, Haiti, Mexico, Malawi and Kenya. During her previous nursing missions, Ernstthal provided family planning education and training for personnel at local clinics.

Joining Ernstthal and the other volunteers is San Diego-area Registered Nurse Amanda Howard. After Haiti’s devastating earthquake in January, Howard spent six weeks in the island nation. As part of her volunteer nursing work, the RN helped establish pre- and post-natal care at an existing Haitian clinic.

Erstthal and Howard are part of National Nurses United’s volunteer Registered Nurse Response Network. The group provides widespread care through a series of continuous assignments, including a mission earlier this year to treat those critically injured in the Haiti earthquake.

Since 2005, Continuing Promise has brought together civilians, Sailors and Marines with a desire to provide humanitarian aid to citizens of South and Central American countries, particularly during critical situations resulting from natural disasters.

The need for skilled nursing professionals both abroad and close to home continues to grow. If you’ve been thinking of exploring LVN jobs in San Francisco, Fremont or elsewhere the Bay Area, see how Unitek College can get you started on an exciting nursing career. From LVN jobs in Sacramento, to nursing roles in San Jose, Unitek College has the quality training program to help you jumpstart your career in this growing healthcare field.

For additional information on National Nurses United, please visit:

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Greater Sacramento Licensed Vocational Nurse to Receive a Prestigious Nursing Award in Washington D.C.

Brenda Calvin Wright, a licensed vocational nurse (LVN) clinical manager for the Chapa-De Indian Health Program in Auburn, California, will receive a distinguished national award for excellence in nursing on July 21 in Washington D.C., reported the Colusa County Sun Herald.

Wright will be awarded on Wednesday during the 2010 Nurse Leaders in Native Care Conference. The annual event includes a series of educational workshops and presentations on the people and issues that impact American Indian and Alaskan Native nurses. It is sponsored by the Indian Health Service (IHS), the Indian Health Service National Nurse Leadership Council, and the Arizona Nurses Association.

As a member of the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma, Wright was nominated to the National Nurse Leadership Council by her supervisor for her compassionate approach to nursing, and the positive impact she has on her patients’ lives. In her nomination, Wright is said to improve the attitudes of numerous patients by taking the time to communicate sensitive medical practices and emphasizing the benefits of daily self-care.

According to the Colusa County Sun Herald, Wright began working at the Chapa-De Indian Health Program as a receptionist five years ago. After a year at the Auburn-based healthcare program, the native of Colusa County, northwest of Sacramento, transitioned to a rewarding new role as an LVN. This professional change followed the death of her husband Larry in a truck accident.

Wright, a grandmother of two, is the only California Indian Health Care nurse to receive this year’s prestigious award from the IHS National Nurse Leadership Council.

The Chapa-De Indian Health Programs serve more than 4,000 patients in the Greater Sacramento communities of Auburn, Grass Valley and Woodland. While many of the programs’ patients are Native American, Wright is recognized for sharing her compassionate and professional nursing skills with all of Chapa-De’s clients. As she told the Colusa County Sun, “All our patients are like family to me. Not just Native Americans, but those from all communities.”

Like other nursing personnel, such as San Francisco LVNs, Wright is part of a vital and growing field in the healthcare profession. Licensed vocational nurses play an important role in the and daily care of patients in clinics, hospitals and other settings. They also provide key information on preventative care and treatment to families and caregivers.

If you’ve thought of exploring LVN Jobs in Sacramento or considered working as a Santa Clara LVN, Unitek College has a quality training program that can get you started on a rewarding career in the expanding nursing industry. Discover more about Unitek College’s LVN convenient training program today!

To learn more about Brenda Calvin Wright, please visit:

And to learn more about the federal Indian Health Service program, please visit:

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Nursing Professionals Address California Whooping Cough Epidemic

The American Nursing Association (ANA) and other professional groups are joining the campaign to raise awareness among nursing professionals, like Sacramento Vocational Nursing, on the California whooping cough epidemic.

In June, the California Department of Health declared an epidemic of this highly contagious yet preventable respiratory disease. More than 900 cases of whooping cough, also known as pertussis, have been reported in California in less than three months. An additional 600 suspected cases are also under investigation. Sadly, five infants also died recently in the state as a result of pertussis infections.

In a special release issued on June 25, the ANA urged nurses, particularly those working closely with infants and newborn babies, to be vaccinated against whooping cough with the tetanus-diptheria-pertussis vaccine, or “Tdap,” vaccine.

“This is a tragic reminder that vaccine-preventable diseases still exist, and the need to maintain vaccine coverage is vital to protecting the public, especially those most vulnerable,” stated the ANA in its online statement on the outbreak of this bacteria-borne disease.

The ANA also encourages California’s nursing professionals, such as San Francisco Vocational Nursing, to educate pregnant women and parents on whooping cough. In particular, the organization recommends that health professionals promote the need for babies, children and adolescents to be vaccinated against the disease.

Pertussis is caused by the bacterium Bordetella pertussis. The name ‘whooping cough’ is based on the whooping sound generated by sufferers as they attempt to breathe in air during strenuous coughing fits. Babies are especially susceptible to this airborne disease, which can be spread through mucous discharge from the nose and mouth.

Following a 7-10 day incubation period, pertussis sufferers usually experience nasal discharge along with mild coughing and sneezing. Symptoms typically become worse during the next 1-2 weeks, and eventually lead to uncontrollable and aggressive coughing attacks. From this point, sufferers may experience unpleasant coughing fits for an additional 2-8 weeks. In serious cases, particularly those involving infected infants, whooping cough can contribute to severe complications like pneumonia.

Despite the existence of vaccines, contagious diseases like whooping cough remain on rise in California and other parts of the country. As serious illnesses continue to impact more people, the need for qualified licensed vocational nurses who can care for and educate patients will also grow.

If you’ve thought of training for Vocational Nursing jobs in Santa Clara or other parts of the state, now may be the best time to act. Unitek College’s quality LVN education program can help you develop skills you need to help California respond to outbreaks of whooping cough and other preventable diseases.

For additional information on preventing pertussis, please visit: