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Meet Matt Eubank BSN, RN, a dedicated and compassionate Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing (ABSN) graduate who embodies the values of excellence, empathy, and service in healthcare. He serves as a 1st Lieutenant in the Kentucky National Guard and plays a crucial role as a military liaison here at the college. In this capacity, he provides invaluable support to current ABSN students were also medics in the U.S. military. 

Embark on a journey of determination and passion with Matt Eubank, a shining example of a nurse's profound impact on future nurses and our Commonwealth.

Let's delve into Lieutenant Eubank's interview: 

What specialty or area of nursing do you currently work in, and what drew you to that specific field?

I was uniquely selected to be the 1st Ortho-Trauma Research Nurse. I have had a long career in perioperative services, ortho-trauma with the DOD/ Army, and a long, developing career in leadership. This lifelong amalgamation of skills, particularly my leadership abilities, has me well-suited to manage, operate, and lead a successful team through the exploration of medical science. MD Matuszewski, the Principal Investigator I support, is one of the foremost surgeons in his field of research. Our team coordinates across multiple sites and, through a collaborative effort, is poised to accelerate the betterment of orthopedic injury care now and far into the future. 

How do you believe your military experience prepared you for the challenges and demands of the nursing profession?

The Military gave me primary exposure to every echelon of care from a forward operating base to Level One care stateside. I have had the pleasure of working across multidisciplinary teams and as well with foreign nationals in efforts to return our fighting force to duty. Also, working with local populations within the United States and abroad, I have had the pleasure of offering care that otherwise would not be available. I served over 20 years as an enlisted soldier and proudly have accepted a commission as an Officer in the KY National Guard, where I continue service to our country as a Registered Nurse 66H. 

Tell us about your role as the CON Military Liaison. 

As a liaison, I primarily assist military-connected students in navigating unique issues in that sub-population. We begin with a needs assessment for each student and then assist throughout their journey. This can be as simple as helping with filing paperwork for the Military GI Bill or tuition assistance benefits. Some students require further services, and I assist the college with successfully matriculating our military-associated students. I have also had the pleasure of providing input for advisory panels, developing ongoing collaborations between the university ROTC and College of Nursing, and assisting with recruitment from the armed forces to the nursing program as a graduate and mentor. 

Can you tell us about your journey from being an ABSN MedVet student to where you are in your career today?

The MEDVet to BSN program was a unique opportunity to obtain credit for previous work and endeavors. Furthermore, as the forerunner to the ABSN program, this program allowed me to accelerate the path to a BSN degree and enter the workforce as a well-prepared nurse with a vast array of skills learned from both environments. After graduation, I accepted an internship and was appointed as a PACU nurse at the University of Kentucky Medical Center Chandler MOR. This opportunity solidified my knowledge across the lifespan of my career. It provided opportunities to lead, develop Q.I. projects, and understand an area of passion, Post-Operative care of surgical patients focusing on non-pharmacological means of pain management.

Additionally, during COVID, we utilized military training in the sequestration of surgical patients to continue operations safely during a pandemic. These efforts saved lives and resources and again illustrated a combined understanding unique to military-experienced individuals brought into nursing via a HERSA Grant opportunity. I want to give special thanks to Fran Harin-Fanning, PhD, RN  Lee Anne Walmsley, PhD, Eds, MSN, RN Cheryl Witt, PhD, RN   former Dean Janie Heath, PhD, APRN-BC, FAAN, FNAP, FAANP, and many others. 

Also, I have served as the Chief Nurse for Rheumatology Services at UK, under the guidance of Amber Daily, BSN, RN. This experience allowed me to solidify and understand outpatient aspects of patient care within a highly specialized area of medicine. I was allowed to develop programs and directives to accelerate and enrich patient care. Collaborative efforts with MDs, Fellows, Pharmacists, and other vital roles allowed our clinic to serve an underserved population with distinction and care. Under both PACU and Rheumatology, I have earned a Daisy Award for excellence in patient care. 

Continuing service with the US Army via the KY National Guard, I have been blessed to travel to Djibouti to strengthen state-sponsored relations with our foreign partners. Furthermore, the KY National Guard's day-to-day operations ensure the optimal readiness of the Guard to deploy and provide ongoing operations. This spans border defense, flood relief, and other critical services the Guard is positioned to supply. 

Finally, what advice would you give current nursing students or recent graduates just starting their careers?

Select a mentor within the academic realm of nursing to foster your growth across your lifespan. As a nurse, select a mentor within your field of interest to foster your growth within your chosen field. Then, stand ready to mentor another and pass on the nursing craft when that time comes. 

Lastly, the career field of nursing is vast and always growing in breadth. There is always a place for you in nursing; seek out yours and learn to love this profession with a profound impact on the betterment of mankind. This is our charge and our mission!


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