Jean Bouchason, RN, PHN oral history 2010

Interview with Jean Bouchason(?) (listed as Cappie Stanley on tape label) (8:15-13:20)

KM: This is Katie McCollum I am a UNCW nursing student. We are conducting an interview in

Wilmington, North Carolina. Today is October 28th, 2010 and we are at the public health

association conference.

Alright, and what is your name?

JB: My name is Jean Bouchason(?).

KM: And when were you born?

JB: 1951.

KM: where did you grow up?

JB: I grew up in Salisbury, North Carolina.

KM: Why did you decide to become a nurse?

JB: My grandmother was a nurse during World War Two and then she was a public health nurse,

a community nurse. I was very impressed with her experiences.

KM: Where and when did you go to nursing school?

JB: I graduated from nursing school in 1972. I went to (unintelligible) Memorial Hospital, a

diploma program.

KM: Please tell me a little about your nursing education and how it relates to public health.

JB: well I think that the education in my program, I did have experience in community health

centers, and I later became a family nurse practitioner. My first position in public health was as a

family nurse practitioner in the local health department.

KM: Why did you decide to become a community health nurse in particular?

JB: My experience as a family nurse practitioner in public health departments made quite an

impression on me. I was able to not only see clients as a clinician in clinic, but also make home

visits and work with social workers, physician, and others to coordinate care for the child and


KM: Please tell me a little bit about your first job in community health.

JB: Well as I said, my first job was as a family nurse practitioner in Chatham County, NC and I

did primary care and preventative care for children. I worked with physicians from UNC.

KM: What is your current position at the present time?

JB: I’m currently the state child health nurse consultant and I work for the division of public

health in children and youth. I have six regional nurse consultants who support local health

departments and other local providers to improve health outcomes for children.

KM: Can you tell us a memorable story about your experience in community health? If you have


JB: Well I think as a nurse practitioner one of my favorite stories is about the young girl that

came to see me because she thought she was pregnant. Indeed she was, and I was able to do the

exam and work with her and spend some time reassuring her. Later that evening I got a call at

my home that her mother was going to kill her. So I actually met with the mom and the young

girl and we worked things out, and I was able to connect them with a social worker. The father,

the mother, and the teen and I had the opportunity to discuss the implications of the decisions for

them. So I felt that that is most likely to happen in community health, to work with the whole

family and to bring the resources of the community to them.

KM: Okay. If you had to do it again would you be a community health nurse, or in that field?

JB: Yes, I think. As a nurse practitioner I’ve been a health consultant to large medical groups.

I’ve worked with HMO. I think all those previous experiences have brought me to public health

where we do focus on population health and improving health outcomes. I think it’s one of the

most exciting professions and opportunities for nurses.

KM: Is there anything else you would like to share with nurses in the future who are interested in

community health nursing?

JB: Well my niece is in nursing school at ECU now, and I think I’ve already committed her to

community health nursing because it is a way not only to focus on individuals and families (she’s

very interested in pediatrics), but also that community and scientifically based approach to

improve health outcomes.

KM: Well thank you so much for your time today.

JB: Thank you.