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Meet Our Panelists
 This page was last updated on 15-Jun-02

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    Meet Our Panelists

he following nursing professionals have volunteered their time and services to answer your questions on the Ask-A-Nurse forum.  We thought you'd like to know a little more about them and the wealth of combined experience they bring to this site.  My deepest thanks and gratitude to all of our panelists:

Sally Villasenor, BA, BSN, RN, RP

Sally is a registered nurse from Westland, MI currently practicing in the critical care setting.  She holds a BA in Biology, a BSN in Nursing, and has applied for admission to the Master's in Nurse Anesthesia program at Wayne State University.  She has experience as an EMT, CNA and RN in the following settings: psych, rehab, med-surge, IMC (stepdown) and ICU/CCU.  She is also a Reiki II practitioner.  Sally is married, with two children, and loves being a nurse.

In addition to her work in critical care, Sally has a website, Nursing Power Net, with over 100 pages of information related to nursing practice, healthcare and complementary medicine.

About her philosophy, Sally says, "I love to learn. I believe in making learning a lifelong process. The greatest insult a person can render to me is withholding the benefit of their knowledge base and opinions. Other people's experiences and viewpoints are our greatest assets when it comes to learning. That is why I love nursing. I honestly learn something new every day from my coworkers and, more importantly, my patients."

Joanne Yastik, RN, MSN

Joanne has been a practicing nurse for 13 years.  She has held staff nurse positions in several emergency departments in Michigan, as well as in Honolulu, HI, gaining experience in PACU and  Emergency Department Management.  Upon relocating back to her home state of Michigan from Hawaii to pursue an MSN, Joanne began teaching Fundamentals of Nursing and Medical-Surgical Nursing at a local community college.  

While teaching, Joanne became interested in the information (or lack thereof) that was available to nursing students about career options in the various nursing specialty areas.  She is publishing a book for nursing students and nurses alike, entitled "Nursing Destinations - A Career Guide to Specialties in Nursing."  The guide, which describes 90 specialty areas within nursing, includes basic job duties, educational requirements, previous work experience and certifications needed to work in each area.  It also includes thoughts from nurses across the country currently working in those areas.  The book is scheduled for publication in the late spring of 2001.  

Joanne resides in Allen Park, MI (a suburb of Detroit) and is the Emergency Department Admissions Nurse Coordinator at Providence Hospital.  She also continues to teach part-time at the University of Detroit - Mercy, her alma mater.

Sara Ollar, RN
Site Producer of

Sara is an RN with over 16 years of hands-on nursing experience involving NICU, ICU, teaching, management, and ER. A former officer in the U.S. Army Nurse Corps, honor graduate of the US Air Force Dept. of Instructor Training, the U.S. Army Academy of Health Sciences, the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Chemical Defense, she brings extensive healthcare experience to the forum.  A member of Howard Rheingold's private community, Brainstorms, she recently has served as online forums host for

Patricia Bennett, RN, MS

Molloy College, Rockville Centre, NY
Health Information, Tutorial Services, Career/Life Consulting Services
Pat is a full-time faculty member at Molloy College with over 25 years' nursing experience.  She also has a private practice, Patricia C. Bennett Consulting Services.  Pat has a master's degree in Nursing Administration and a second master's degree in Business Administration with a specialization in healthcare.  She has accumulated a wealth of experience in a variety of specialty areas during her nursing career, including med-surg, maternity, respiratory care step-down and community health nursing.  She has also worked as a visiting nurse (and per diem nurse manager for visiting nurses), school health nurse, supervisor of a school health program, nurse in charge of a sexually transmitted diseases clinic, nurse epidemiologist in communicable diseases and currently, as a nurse educator.

Of her current position as an tenured Professor at Molloy College, Pat says she has now found an area that encompasses all the skills she accumulated in her nursing career.  Future plans include entering a doctoral program.

Stephanie Thibeault

 The Student Nurse Advisor E-Zine
The Nursing Leadership Web Award
Stephanie, a BSN student, is the author of Stressed Out About Nursing School: An Insider's Guide to Success.  She also writes a weekly column for and has contributed to the American Student Nurse journal.

She has 10 years' experience as an administrative assistant and human resources professional, including three years working for the United Cerebral Palsy Association.  Additionally, she has experience as a respite care provider, and has done volunteer work for The Children's Place Agency, Niles Home for Children, The Good Samaritan Project (AIDS hospice), St. Vincent's Children's Center, The HOPE Foundation, Altrusa International, Jackson County Respite Care, and The Women's Foundation.

 A second-career, non-traditional nursing student, she developed this website while trying to find answers to her own questions about the field of nursing and going back to college.

Stephanie, 31, lives in Kansas City and is the single parent of two beautiful children - Anthony (13) and Emma (6).  She is currently working towards a BSN, and hopes to eventually become a nurse practitioner working in hospice.

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