July 27


Raelene Brooks: Bringing Visibility to Nurses


In May 2022, University of Phoenix honored nurses and healthcare professionals and their tireless work during the COVID-19 pandemic with a special event that featured inspiring stories, networking opportunities and discussions about the future of nursing. The day-long event, “Inspired By You,” took place during National Nurses Week, which is held every year from May 6-12, the 12th being Florence Nightingale’s birthday.

The 2022 event saw the University’s College of Nursing Dean Raelene Brooks, Ph.D., RN, moderate a panel discussion that featured experts and leaders from the healthcare field.

Inspired By You

On Saturday, May 7, “Inspired By You” took place at the University’s Southern California Campus in collaboration with the University’s Workforce Solutions team. Workforce Solutions is a resource that University of Phoenix provides to offer bespoke learning pathway solutions to employers looking to recruit, upskill and retain their workforces.

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The event welcomed professionals from the community’s healthcare organizations to recognize and celebrate their life-saving contributions during the pandemic. A panel discussion, led by Brooks, included:

  • Deputy Director of Nursing and Statewide Chief Nursing Executive at California Corrections Healthcare Services Barbara Barney-Knox
  • Director of Nursing Professional Practice at Magnet Program and Clinical Informatics at Kaiser Permanente Riverside Service Area, Riverside and Moreno Valley Medical Centers Joanelle Adajar, MSN, RN, PHN
  • Program Chair at University of Phoenix’s College of Nursing Pamela Bryant, DNP, RN, MSN, FNP-C, PHN, who has a master of science in Nursing and is a Family Nurse Practitioner

The panel took inspiration from the National Nurses Week theme, “Nurses: A Voice to Lead – Investing in Nursing and Respecting Rights to Secure Global Health.” During the discussion, the panelists spoke about self-care and resilience, cultivating a culture of nursing excellence and how nurses can be at the forefront of diversity, equity and inclusion in healthcare.


Alongside the panel discussion, delegates mingled at a networking reception. The event also provided a platform for each recognized nurse to share stories of one individual who had inspired them on their professional journey and to exchange insights into how the field of nursing is changing in the aftermath of the pandemic.

Raelene Brooks: Bringing Visibility to Nurses

Brooks has been a registered nurse for more than 25 years and has extensive experience in the UC Health Care System with intensive care, critical care and trauma. After obtaining a master’s degree in nursing education in 2000, she completed her doctoral degree in nursing science in 2018 at the University of San Diego.

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A Doris Howell Scholar, Brooks is an involved member of many professional healthcare associations including the National League of Nursing, the American Association of Colleges of Nursing and the Association for Critical Care Nursing.

Brooks explained that National Nurses Week is an annual opportunity to bring visibility to nurses’ valuable contributions to the medical world and society at large, highlighting their deeply specialized knowledge, critical thinking skills, leadership qualities and compassion.

The event served as a celebration of nurses’ achievements and, she added, as an opportunity to explore the future as a forum to explore ways to continue to support and develop the nation’s nurses. She stated that University of Phoenix supports the relentless efforts of nurses across the U.S. and honors their incredible work.

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In addition to leading the “Inspired By You” panel, Brooks was also the keynote speaker at a live webinar on Thursday, May 12, entitled “The History of Nursing, Current Health Care Education, and Career Opportunities.”

University of Phoenix’s Nursing Degree Programs

University of Phoenix and its College of Nursing offer a range of online nursing degree programs that teach the essential theory and practical skills needed for a career in contemporary nursing. Experienced faculty deliver modern curricula involving topics such as quality and patient safety, evidence-based practice and leadership.

Students can pursue a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN), Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) or Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP). Flexible program dates allow learners in employment to balance education, work and other commitments. The University also offers a Nursing Bridge Program to Registered Nurses (RN) who have a bachelor’s degree in an unrelated area and are looking to earn their MSN.

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Learn more about the University’s Online Nursing Degree Programs.

About University of Phoenix

University of Phoenix’s commitment to meeting the higher education needs of adult and nontraditional learners means students can develop the knowledge and skills necessary to reach their professional goals. The University offers over 100 online degree programs and helps students navigate the career options and courses that best suit their interests, preparing them for numerous career paths such as those in the nursing and healthcare fields and more. They provide flexible start dates and scholarship opportunities to ensure everyone can earn the degree they need.

As a complementary service to students and graduates, the University’s Career Services for Life® commitment to active students and graduates provides the resources needed for individuals to successfully compete in the workforce. The service includes access to various tools such as career guidance, resume and interview support and education and networking opportunities. To learn more, visit www.phoenix.edu.

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