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Back row L to R: Medical Assistant Gina Billingsley; Sandy Huston, R.N.; Denise Edwards, R.N.; Ann Lascelles, R.N. Front Row, L to R: Pam Rodeffer, L.P.N.; Ashley Howard, R.N.; Barb Slater, R.N.; Carol Birch R.N. Not pictured: Tony Bowling, R.N. and Candy Fidler, R.N.
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Beu Health Center Nursing Staff Celebrated on International Nurses Day and All Year Long

May 12, 2010

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MACOMB, IL -- Today, nurses around the world are celebrating International Nurses Day and commemorating the birthday of Florence Nightingale, the founder of trained nursing as a profession. Mary Margaret Harris, director of Beu Health Center at Western Illinois University, noted that in the spirit of Nightingale -- and in all of the dedicated professionals who practice and have practiced nursing -- she is proud to recognize the contributions of the nursing and medical assistant staff members at Beu not only today, but also during National Nurses Week (May 6-12) and all year round.

"This highly knowledgeable and skilled group plays an indispensable role at Beu Health Center," Harris said. "Their work comprises a wide range of activities at Beu, ranging from helping health care providers with patient intake and procedures to patient education counseling, scheduling patient referrals, immunization updates, allergy injections, outreach flu clinics, outreach health education presentations, patient triage and appointment scheduling."

One of the most in-demand careers today, a nurse is an integral part of the health care profession, added Carol Birch, administrative nurse at Beu Health Center.

"Serving patient needs, the nursing professional embodies such qualities as compassion, interpersonal skills and commitment. Being a good nurse demands skill, hard work and devotion, and Beu Health Center is proud to have a nursing staff that genuinely meets all these qualifications," she added.

In addition to the eight registered nurses and one licensed practical nurse, Beu Health Center employs medical assistants.

"By definition, registered nurses (RN), who are prepared in a two-, three- or four-year nursing programs, are graduate nurses who are legally registered to practice after examination by the National Council Licensing Examination (NCLEX) and completion of state licensing requirements," Birch explained. "Licensed Practical Nurses (LPN) complete a minimum one-year practical nursing program, followed by their NCLEX examination and completion of state licensing requirements. Medical assistants (MA) are trained, non-licensed medical professionals who perform clinical duties under the supervision of a board-certified physician. These various types of health care professionals all contribute to the quality health care Beu provides to Western students."

Harris added that in Fall 2009, in spite of operating with a reduced staff who were working to accommodate an influx of patients suffering from seasonal and H1N1 flu, as well as tend to the everyday patient acute illnesses, chronic conditions, injuries and concerns, the nurses and medical assistants at Beu maintained their smiles and enthusiasm and served WIU students with high-quality health care.

"This year, Beu Health Center will be celebrating National Nurses Week, in conjunction with an end-of-the-Spring semester celebration, with a staff picnic/cookout/potluck on Friday, May 14. I am extremely proud and privileged to have such a talented, professional group of individuals assisting in the health care of the students on Western Illinois University's Macomb campus," Harris noted.

For more information about the services Beu Health Center offers, contact Harris or Birch at (309) 298-1888. More information about WIU's School of Nursing -- which offers a pre-nursing program, a pre-licensure Bachelor of Science in Nursing (basic BSN) program and an RN-BSN program -- is available at

Posted By: Teresa Koltzenburg (
Office of University Communications & Marketing