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  • USF Nursing allows U.S. Air Force soldier to continue master’s program while deployed overseas

    Captain Michael Ofman is a proud University of South Florida College of Nursing student and a dedicated flight nurse in the United States Air Force. Recently, he was called for deployment to Al Udeid Air Base in Qatar.

    When he received the call, Ofman was in his last year of his master’s program in the family nurse practitioner concentration. As a flight nurse for aeromedical evacuation in the U.S. Air Force Reserves for almost 20 years, his dream was to become a nurse practitioner. When duty called, he thought his dream would never become a reality, however, the college faculty and administration made the decision to ensure he could accomplish his goal while still serving our country.

    Michael Ofman
    USF Nursing Student Capt. Michael Ofman while on duty

    Brian Graves, PhD, RN, ACNP-BC, USF College of Nursing Assistant Professor and Assistant Dean for the Master’s Program, Alicia Rossiter, MSN, ARNP, FNP, PNP-BC, College of Nursing military liaison, and Scott Burgess, academic advisor for the Graduate Program, worked with his commanders and his professors at USF College of Nursing to enable him to complete classes online and to ensure he met clinical rotation requirements overseas.

    While on base, Ofman will be mentored by U.S. Air Force Colonel Deborah L. Saltmarsh, Col, ASAFR, ARNP. During this mission, Col. Saltmarsh will guide him through his clinical rotations as he helps provide care for patients including pregnant women and children at primary care facilities on base.

    “Capt. Ofman is a valuable asset to the 45AES and the United States Air Force,” said Col. Saltmarsh in a letter sent to USF College of Nursing. “This is a great opportunity for him to gain valuable aeromedical evaluation skills he cannot obtain otherwise.”

    Capt. Ofman will help transport wounded soldiers from points of injury to health care facilities.  He said he is really proud to serve his country while still completing his master’s degree via distance e-learning at USF College of Nursing.

    While on base, Ofman will be mentored by U.S. Air Force Base Colonel Deborah L. Saltmarsh, Col, ASAFR, ARNP.
    Ofman (2nd row) along with his fellow soldiers at the Al Udeid Air Base in Qatar 

    “I am really thankful for everything that USF College of Nursing is doing for me,” said Capt. Ofman. “Because of the support from the College and many faculty, especially Alicia Rossiter, I am able to work towards becoming a nurse practitioner while still providing care for our fighting heroes overseas.”

    This is an example of where we are actually walking the walk and not just talking the talk,” Dr. Graves said. ”In this specific case, faculty and staff from different College of Nursing departments came together as ONE team to work with Ofman to make his dream come true.”

    For related stories on students who are military service members or veterans click here.

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