Groundbreaking Nursing Alumna Deployed

Jennifer Wain SNC’18, pictured when she was a second lieutenant in the New Jersey National Guard, is now a first lieutenant deployed to Jordan as a squadron fire support officer with the 44th Infantry Brigade Combat Team.

Although Jennifer Wain had earned one bachelor’s degree and served as the first female combat arms officer in the New Jersey Army National Guard before she enrolled at the Rutgers School of Nursing–Camden, she still needed the support of classmates, faculty, and staff. “My fellow nursing friends helped me through school,” Wain said. “Without them, I would have had a much more difficult time.”

Wain, a first lieutenant in the New Jersey National Guard who graduated in May 2018, also credits faculty members, specifically Kevin Emmons, a clinical assistant professor in the School of Nursing and officer in the U.S. Army Reserve who served in Kuwait and Iraq, with helping her. “He made sure I understood what I needed to know and what was important,” she said. “He is very smart and always was approachable.”

Wain began working in fall 2018 as a nurse in the Heart and Vascular Intensive Care Unit (HVICU) at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, where she worked as a nursing aide during her senior year. That job, however, is on hold while she serves an approximately 400-day deployment in Jordan as a squadron fire support officer with the 44th Infantry Brigade Combat Team. Two more women have since become combat officers in the New Jersey National Guard, and Wain is honored to have had the opportunity to be a leader. “I am extremely humbled and I am so thankful for everything I have learned along the way,” Wain said.

Wain, who earned a biology degree from Temple University in 2013 before enlisting and attending Rutgers–Camden, worked on campus in the Office of Military and Veterans Affairs and served as vice president of the student-veterans association. She said that she and other student-veterans benefit from the welcoming atmosphere on a campus that has earned many awards for serving veterans, including being named the first Purple Heart University in New Jersey. “Veterans have a difficult time transferring back to civilian life,” she said. “They have so many great skills that they can apply, but it is sometimes hard to take that initial step back to going to school. People at Rutgers–Camden are so caring and concerned for veterans’ well-being.”

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