In Her Blood

Nurse Practitioner Student Nina Anderson is improving the lives of adult patients living with sickle cell anemia

Self-starters see a problem and work to solve it. They do not wait for someone else to take the lead; they choose instead to become the dynamic force necessary to make the change. Their passions compel them to do what is right. Some people might say it’s in their blood. Nina Anderson, RN, FNP, a current Nurse Practitioner student at Wilmington University, is one of these people.
Nina Anderson
Anderson explains, “In Delaware there is a comprehensive program for pediatric patients with sickle cell anemia located at A.I. DuPont Hospital for Children. [The program] orchestrates a variety of services, such as providing resources, care coordination, counseling, self-care management education, and close follow-up interventions; after 18 years of age, patients must transition from the program.” Anderson began envisioning programs for adult sickle cell patients while working at the Marian Anderson Comprehensive Sickle Cell Center at St. Christopher’s Hospital. “I became aware of this need and wanted to reach out to the adult sickle cell community in Delaware,” she says.

Sickle cell anemia is a genetic form of anemia in which the red blood cells are abnormally shaped (usually in the shape of a sickle) and thus carry less oxygen throughout the body. The disease “affects an estimated 70,000 to 100,000 Americans” according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Anderson was determined to make a change. “I decided to submit a proposal to the Delaware Department of Health and Social Services for funding and was awarded [a] grant.” This grant will allow her to recruit sickle cell patients, over the age of 18, to be followed for a two-year period. The primary focus will be to provide hybrid case-management services to improve patients” overall health and well-being by preventing complications from their disease.

“One of the goals of my program is to show the value of the nurse’s role to ensure patients receive ongoing and routine care,” states Anderson. “Early results of this initiative have been positive. If this program can demonstrate that it is cost-effective and has favorable outcomes, I am optimistic more support … will follow.”

If anyone can meet the extraordinary demands of this pilot effort, Anderson can. She came to Wilmington University already licensed as a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner. In 2006, she obtained her Post-Master of Science in Nursing Legal Nurse Consultant certification through Wilmington University. At present, she is completing the requirements for a subsequent WU certification as an Adult/Family Nurse Practitioner, all while enrolled in a doctoral program at Thomas Jefferson University. Anderson is also an avid supporter of the arts in Delaware and is a violinist for the Umoja String Trio.

Some people work hard to serve the community and leave the world a better place. Some might say it’s in their blood. Anderson is also one of those.

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