About the Camp > Our Staff > Laura Hernández

Laura Hern√°ndez

Volunteer Nurse, previous Clinical Coordinator

It all began August 7, 1995 when I was hired as a nurse clinician in the process of becoming a nurse practitioner in the department of Pulmonology under the guidance and supervision of Dr. Moises Simpser and Dr. Antonio Rodriguez and his wonderful staff. I soon found out the dynamics of a busy office! At the time, I shared nursing clinical responsibilities with Rosa (Rosi) Roche, MSN, ARNP, B-C, my mentor and colleague.
 

Through the years, not only did our professional relationship grow but a newly found friendship transpired. They taught me the role of a nurse practitioner but most importantly the essence of being sensitive to daily needs of medically complex children and families. They inspired me on how to be a true advocate for them. With support from my family, in May 1996, I graduated from Barry University as a family nurse practitioner with a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) and was ready to combine all that I had learned from Barry's graduate program, Dr. Simpser, and Rosi.
 

With each year that has passed, my personal passion and loyalty to the team has endured.
 

By spring 1998, I was deeply admiring my new role feeling more than immersed and competent to venture into my first virtual VACC camp experience. In August of 2001, I had a wonderful opportunity to combine an educator and clinician role and become a joint pediatric faculty for Nicklaus Children's Hospital and Florida International University's (FIU), College of Nursing and Health Sciences. I am now a professor of Care of Families: Childrearing Nursing, able to instill my passion for everything that camp stands for!
 

Now, when I am asked by students and colleagues: "What is VACC camp?" and "What does it stand for?" Where I used to say "It is a vent camp for children with lung diseases and their families" I now say: "It is a special place where anyone who attends experiences a sense of safety, security, and freedom to belong." In a very heartening way, I believe VACC camp uplifts our campers and families to forget their daily challenges and feel they can do anything they physically want to do.
 

My students now learn their scope of practice extends beyond the hospital setting and that VACC camp is a constant avenue in these campers' lives providing diversion from limitations their medical diagnosis brings. It is my privilege to be part of the VACC camp team as I educate, advocate, and serve the children, families, students and volunteers that come together every spring at VACC camp.
 

My fondest admiration, highest esteem and utmost respect to all involved and our VACC camp team!