SJR STATE ALUMNI SPOTLIGHTS
Veronica Charltray (2005, ASN; 2015, BSN)
Each week, St. Johns River State College will honor one of its own in an alumni salute, celebrating the career milestones, community contributions and personal reflections of those who began their collegiate journey as SJR State Vikings.
The quality of education she received at St. Johns River State College inspired Veronica Charltray to enroll in the College’s Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) program. Her first experience with SJR State’s nursing program was while pursuing an Associate in Science in Nursing degree, a program she graduated from in December of 2005. Then, in 2013, Veronica was one of four students awarded a $1,200 continuing education scholarship from the Florida State Association of Rehabilitation Nurses (FSARN), which allowed her to pursue a BSN at SJR State, a program she graduated from in December of 2015.
“The BSN program introduced me to the new world beyond clinical experiences that many of us nurses linger between – that of tasks and leadership – to meet the demands of the healthcare industry,” Veronica explained. “The diverse patient population served within our community has made it a priority to find nurses with higher education.”
Veronica credits SJR State’s wide variety of learning activities, including both online technology and classroom learning activities, for preparing her for her current position as manager in a 26-bed orthopaedic/medical surgical unit at UF Health Jacksonville. Veronica formerly worked with Brooks Rehabilitation Hospital as a bedside nurse for adults and children with brain injuries. She also served as a nursing supervisor for five years.
About her current work, Veronica says, “The challenges for daily operation of the unit are visible. However, I use team effort as well as the value of change agent, model the way, and challenge the process for my leadership style, which enables me to overcome the nature of my working environment. There are tremendous resources to ensure that all employees have access to improve practices in the delivery of quality care, and my goal is to provide a safe and pleasant working environment for the staff to increase work performance towards patient satisfaction.”
While Veronica spends her days striving to provide patient satisfaction in the workplace, she fondly recalled how SJR State provided student satisfaction for her, particularly because of the consistency and support she received from her professors. “They helped me maximize my learning ability to be successful, personally and professionally,” she said.
In 2015, Veronica was selected to make a poster presentation at the Association of Rehabilitation Nurses 41st Annual Educational Conference. Over 230 abstracts were submitted, and Veronica’s was one of 140 selected to be presented at the “Beyond Survival: Practice, Policy and Partnerships” conference held in New Orleans, LA. According to Veronica, her poster-presentation, “The New Trend of Healthcare Reimbursement Systems: CompleteCare,” was useful for helping “the role of nurses, as team navigators, generate new knowledge in the transition of care across settings.”
Some of the nurses with whom Veronica shared her knowledge at the ARN Conference sent pictures of her poster to their nurse managers. “I remember the nurses from California, Texas and North Carolina took pictures of my poster as a guide for when they are ready to present their own posters in the future,” Veronica said.
With a heart for sharing tools of excellence within healthcare services, Veronica will make another ARN poster-presentation in September. This time, she’ll be heading to Pennsylvania to present: “SBAR (Situation, Background, Assessment, Recommendation): A Powerful Communication Tool to Improve Patient Outcomes.”
While she continues to move forward, personally and professionally, Veronica remains grateful for the nursing foundation she received – and built upon – at SJR State. She is proud to be yet another example of reminding students that they can begin here and go anywhere.
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Director of Public Relations and Publications