When a Dedicated Nurse Meets Breast Cancer Head-On

On episode 396 of The Nurse Keith Show nursing and healthcare career podcast, Keith interviews Rachel Vasquez, MSN, BSN, RN of New Jersey-based AtlantiCare Regional Medical Center regarding how a diagnosis of breast cancer was an incredibly life-changing moment. In the course of this intimate and tender conversation, Keith and Rachel discuss how being on the other side of the stethoscope taught her invaluable life lessons, including the crucial importance of nurses being as dedicated to their own well-being as that of their patients, as well as employers investing in the health maintenance and wellness of their hard-working staff.

Rachel Vasquez, MSN, RN, is the clinical risk manager for AtlantiCare Regional Medical Center (ARMC), which is part of the regional healthcare system AtlantiCare. She is a key member of the team that oversees safety for the organization’s patients and staff. Vasquez collaborates with members of the interdisciplinary team to ensure a safe care and working environment in the hospital’s campuses and ambulatory care sites, as well as AtlantiCare’s primary, specialty and urgent care sites and its business offices.

Prior to her current role, Vasquez was clinical manager of a Medical Telemetry unit at ARMC’s Mainland Campus. She began her nursing career with AtlantiCare as an Emergency Medical Services nurse in the field. She has also worked at Holy Name Medical Center in Teaneck, NJ, Newark Beth Israel Medical Center, Newark, NJ, and other hospital and ambulance services.

Vasquez earned her Bachelor of Science degree in nursing at Felician University, Lodi, NJ, and her Master of Science in Nursing in leadership in healthcare systems at Grand Canyon University, Phoenix, AZ. Passionate about fostering learning opportunities for herself and others, she is pursuing her MBA in health systems management at Grand Canyon University.

In the midst of the pandemic, she and her husband had a happy life event to celebrate – Rachel became pregnant and gave birth to the couple’s beautiful daughter, Lorelai. After returning to work from her maternity leave, Rachel saw AtlantiCare’s reminders about having her annual primary care visit and getting age- and risk-related screenings. She made the appointment with her primary care provider and visited him just before her 40th birthday. What happened next was life-saving for Rachel and life-changing for her family.

Vasquez lives in Ocean County, NJ with her husband and daughter. They enjoy spending time doing outdoor activities, including taking in the beauty of nature.


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Nurse Keith is a holistic career coach for nurses, professional podcaster, published author, award-winning blogger, inspiring keynote speaker, and successful nurse entrepreneur. Connect with Nurse Keith at NurseKeith.com, and on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram.

Nurse Keith lives in beautiful Santa Fe, New Mexico with his lovely fiancée, Shada McKenzie, a highly gifted traditional astrologer and reader of the tarot. You can find Shada at The Circle and the Dot.

The Nurse Keith Show is a proud member of The Health Podcast Network, one of the largest and fastest-growing collections of authoritative, high-quality podcasts taking on the tough topics in health and care with empathy, expertise, and a commitment to excellence. The podcast is adroitly produced by Rob Johnston of 520R Podcasting, and Mark Capispisan is our stalwart social media manager and newsletter wrangler.

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