May 29, 2020
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Hermon native April Tracy Chase earns MS in Nursing and named commencement speaker at Saint Joseph’s College

Community Author: Saint Joseph's College
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April Chase | BDN
April Chase | BDN
April Tracy Chase

STANDISH — April Tracy Chase of Cibolo, Texas, has earned her Master of Science in Nursing with an Education specialization from Saint Joseph’s College of Maine, and will deliver a speech at Commencement in May at the Sebago Lake campus.

A faculty member at the University of Texas Health Science Center (UT Health) School of Nursing in San Antonio, Chase currently teaches the Leadership & Management clinical in their BSN program. A retired Captain for the United States Army who earned a Meritorious Service Medal, Chase continues to serve the military population in the emergency department of the Level 1 Trauma Center for the Department of Defense, which also serves civilian trauma and burn patients in San Antonio and all of South Texas.

Chase, who grew up in Hermon, graduated from Hermon High School in 1997 and her parents Linda and Vaughn Tracy still reside in Hermon.

She earned her BSN from the University of Maine in 2004. Ms. Chase’s graduate work at Saint Joseph’s College included the development and implementation of a simulation focused on impaired nurses, allowing students the opportunity to apply content learned in theory to the clinical setting. This simulation has become part of the curriculum at UT Health San Antonio, and April is the lead author for a podium presentation on this simulation at the International Nursing Association for Clinical Simulation and Learning (INACSL) conference in Toronto, Canada, in June.

Chase said, “I really needed an MSN in order to reach my goal of teaching in a BSN program. I chose SJC because I grew up in Maine so I knew of and trusted the quality of the education received there, and was thrilled to discover that they provided an online program for the flexibility that I needed as both a mom and a full-time RN. I loved that our school was able to collaborate with a university that is local to me for my practicum experience because it allowed me to student teach in person. This gave me the opportunity to really develop the teaching skills that I had learned so much about.”

She is a member of Sigma Theta Tau International Nursing Honor Society and continues at Saint Joseph’s as a student in the post-masters Family Nurse Practitioner certificate program. Chase says, “I have already started pursuing a post-masters certificate in Family Nurse Practitioner at SJC, and I plan on pursuing either a PhD or DNP after that because of the encouragement and feedback that I received from professors in my MSN program.”

Commissioned as an Officer in the United States Army, Chase served on active duty for eight years as an emergency/trauma nurse. She deployed to Mosul, Iraq, in 2008, where she had the opportunity to serve as a critical care flight nurse in addition to trauma nurse. Her Army nursing career provided many leadership opportunities, including: charge nurse, team leader, emergency department operations officer, nursing regional deployment officer, and interim company commander before retiring from the Army as a Captain.

Throughout her nursing career, Chase discovered a passion for teaching. Over the years, she has held many instructor positions including faculty for the Emergency Nurses Association in the Trauma Nursing Core Course and Emergency Nursing Pediatric Course. As an instructor in Basic Life Support, she volunteered to certify the teachers at her children’s’ nonprofit Montessori preschool where she was a board member.

Chase has been a guest lecturer for the Army Licensed Vocational Nurse program as well as the military’s Emergency Nursing and Critical Care Course. As a Certified Pediatric Emergency Nurse, and with her experience in Iraq, and in busy military hospitals, she is often invited to lecture on pediatric trauma and resuscitation.

She plans to continue as nursing faculty and hopes to also become a provider in a family practice office in the future.

Chase is the mother of two boys named Jonathan and Daniel, ages 6 and 8.