Nursing Faculty Spotlight: Bill Hartman

To highlight the high academic caliber and talent within the Rasmussen College nursing school, the Deans at Rasmussen College will be featured in a special Spotlight Series. We recently sat down with Bill Hartman, the Dean of the School of Nursing at the Green Bay, WI college campus. Bill brings more than 30 years of nursing and clinical care experience, and has some great insight into breaking into the challenging and emotionally rewarding field of nursing.

Q&A with Bill Hartman

Why did you become a nurse?

Bill-Hartman To have the ability to reach out and touch a person in need, while fostering a change using scientific reasoning and skill. Earlier in my nursing career, I gravitated toward emergency nursing because of the constant unknown factor of who/what will come through the door next and the challenge of gathering data and developing a treatment plan quickly in order to comfort someone in their greatest time of need.

Why is it a great time to go into nursing?

The opportunity to provide care has grown tremendously in both specialty care and general care environments. Nurses graduating today can practice the art and science of nursing in a multitude of inpatient and outpatient care areas. Within these areas, nursing has become quite specialized as the profession strives to meet the ever increasing demands of the public for easy access and definitive care which will quickly return them to a higher state of wellness.

At the same time, preventative care has taken on a renewed emphasis to prevent disease development and reduce the complications associated with chronic illnesses. The utilization of advanced practice nurses within direct patient care has greatly expanded the autonomy of the profession along with promoting the attributes of nursing care to the general public.

Share one piece of professional advice for nursing graduates.

Be realistic in your expectations; focus on learning the basics, establish a solid routine, and grow your confidence in what you know and can do so anyone that you come in contact with can quickly see how great you really are!

What are typical RN duties, their career options, and why it’s a strong profession in Wisconsin?

In Wisconsin and throughout the United States, Registered Nurses (RNs) play a vital role in the treatment, education and support of patients and their families at both a medical and emotional level using compassion and caring as the cornerstone of support. Utilizing the nursing process, RNs assess patients' medical histories and symptoms, plan their individualized care, implement their plan by helping perform diagnostic tests, administer treatment and medications, and evaluate their care with patient follow-up and education.

RNs are key members of the entire healthcare team; RNs develop a care plan for the treatment of their patient and may include activities such as administering medications, blood, and blood products; administering therapies and treatments; observing the patient and documenting their observations; and consulting with physicians and other healthcare team members.

RN Opportunities: There are many career opportunities for RNs in today’s healthcare environment. The RNs duties are often determined by their work setting or patient population served. RNs can specialize in one or more areas of patient care. For example, critical care nurses provide care to patients with serious, complex, and acute illnesses or injuries that require very close monitoring and extensive medication protocols and therapies, and work in critical or intensive care hospital units. Emergency, or trauma, nurses work in hospital or stand-alone emergency departments, providing initial assessments and care for patients with life-threatening conditions.

Medical-surgical nurses provide health promotion and basic medical care to patients with various medical and surgical diagnoses. Long- term care nurses provide healthcare services on a recurring basis to patients with chronic physical or mental disorders, often in long-term care or skilled nursing facilities. Ambulatory care nurses provide preventive care and treat patients with a variety of illnesses and injuries in physicians' offices or in clinics.

After graduation, the majority of RNs begins their career as staff nurses in hospitals and, with experience, often move to other settings or are promoted to positions with more responsibility. In management, nurses can advance from assistant unit manager or head nurse to more senior-level administrative roles. Usually, to obtain these roles of increasing responsibility, RNs will continue their education to attain graduate level or an advanced degree in nursing.

More About Dean Hartman

William J. Hartman, RN, MSN has spent the majority of over 30 years of a professional career practicing the art and science of nursing in the U.S. Army as a proud member of the Army Nurse Corps. During the 27 years that he served on active duty, he was able to experience many different nursing specialties in a range of countries. Prior to his retirement from the Army in 2005, he had the distinction of being the Director of Training Support at Fort Sam Houston, TX, the home of Army medical training and education. In this role, he provided direct classroom support instructing pathophysiology, critical care nursing, trauma care, ballistics and ballistic wound care. His main role provided direct support to external training programs. His department was responsible for all medical and medical equipment training outside the Academy walls.  

As a member of an elite combat surgical team in Desert Storm, he provided life-saving care to severely injured soldiers in Iraq. Through the success of the team, this concept is well established within today’s combat medical care and has been proven instrumental in saving the lives of countless severely injured soldiers who would not survive the evacuation back to higher levels of care.  He was also deployed during the early phase to support the relief operations in Somalia.  He finely honed his trauma resuscitative skills as the leader of the Emergency Medical Treatment section team, 86th Evacuation Hospital. Upon returning from this civil war he lectured at military and civilian hospitals, medical schools, and professional organizations on the subject of Wound Ballistics and Ballistic Injuries.

Bill received a Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing from College Misericordia in Dallas, PA. During the time he served on active duty, he obtained a Masters Degree in Nursing from Vanderbilt University with a specialty in Trauma/Emergency Nursing.

He was awarded the coveted “A” Proficiency Identifier in 2000, an award  given yearly to the top 15 clinicians within all healthcare areas, which was selected by the Army's Surgeon General. Additionally, in 2003 Bill was a selected to evaluate the Czech Republic nursing education system by the Czech Republic Health Ministry.     

Since retiring from his military career in 2005, Bill has resided on his farm in Door County, WI., helping out a local hospital within their staff education office and serving as the Dean of Nursing at Rasmussen College in Green Bay, WI

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This article was written by Rasmussen College — School of Nursing. The School of Nursing offers three nursing programs that will prepare you to become a nurse and change your life and the lives of others forever. By choosing to earn a degree from one of our nursing schools in Minnesota, Florida, Wisconsin, or Online, you will be on your way toward a career in nursing.

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