People of PA College: March 2017 Edition

by PA College March 28, 2017

People of PA College: March 2017 Edition

Each month, we share the stories of the People of PA College who make the college a great place to learn, work and grow. Here are March’s stories!

Alumni Spotlight

Jannifer Cayless ’15, BSN, RN
Nurse Navigator

Jannifer Cayless has worked as a nurse for more than thirty-five years and is a 2015 graduate of our RN to BSN program. Her nursing experience covers a variety of professional settings – from oncology in a university environment to the emergency room, surgery, behavioral health and school nursing. Patient advocacy and quality care have become a well-defined goal in the later years of Jannifer’s career, leading to new professional pathways; first as a paraprofessional educator for Pennsylvanians United for Quality Care and presently, as a nurse navigator at ConnectCare3.

As a nurse navigator, Jannifer is in a key position to provide compassionate person-centered care within the complex health care system. Nurse navigation impacts timeliness of care, care coordination and patient empowerment. She identifies barriers to care and implements strategies to overcome them, helping to empower patients to participate confidently in decisions about their health care. This could mean offering second opinion options with appropriate subspecialists, attending appointments with patients to facilitate communication between patients and providers, providing evidence-based information regarding patients’ diagnoses and treatment plans, and/or developing applicable appointment questions.

Jannifer is proud of those times in her career when she took the initiative to improve the quality of care for patients and providers, including developing patient education materials for surgical patients, collaborating with a local school district to develop a school health program in the private sector, and developing student-centered curricula for paraprofessionals and high school students. She notes that attending PA College allowed her education to reflect her years of experience and also presented the opportunity to be a national speaker at the Professional Patient Advocate Conference in 2016. Outside of her nursing career, Jannifer enjoys connecting regularly with family and friends. She shares, “After a busy week, I am re-energized by yoga, reading and walking, as well as attending live concerts and theater; however, life would be out-of-balance without some downtime to nurture my soul.”

Faculty/Student Spotlight

Justin Rohrback, BA, AAS, CST
Faculty, Surgical Technology
Student, Associate of Science in Nursing

Justin Rohrback has the special distinction of being a PA College alumnus, faculty member and current student! After earning his Associate degree in Surgical Technology at PA College, he gained a position as a surgical technologist for a women’s surgical center in Baltimore with a primary focus on oncology (breast and OB-GYN). Justin shares that his greatest career achievement so far came while working as a cadaver lab coordinator for the Minimally Invasive Surgical Center based out of the Greater Baltimore Medical Center. While there, he was part of an interdisciplinary team that pioneered a new surgical procedure. After receiving temporary FDA clearance, they began to teach this method to surgeons from all over the world.

Justin decided that he wanted to continue his education, so he returned to PA College and is currently enrolled in our Associate degree program in Nursing. He shares, “I chose to come back to the College without hesitation because I knew the caliber of education that I would receive. After I graduated with my surgical technology degree I felt extremely well prepared to enter into the workforce. I am graduating from the nursing program this May and hope to be able to continue my education here at the College. I plan to pursue my master’s degree in nursing and eventually a doctorate of nursing practice. I would love to one day be able to work as a nurse practitioner.”

Justin also began teaching within our Surgical Technology department in January. As an alumni, he is especially proud to be teaching within this program and believes he can share unique insights with those students experiencing the same lectures and courses he once did.