Nursing: A Profession of Healers … And So Much More

“Nurses Week [May 6 –  May 12, 2016] is important because it puts the spotlight on the people who really take care of you at the hospital,” said Jo Haag, MSN, RN, Resuscitation Learning Director for the American Heart Association. “It raises awareness of the wide variety that nurses do, and they do it all. This is another chance to educate the public and future nurses of all the things you can do when you are a nurse.”

Jo Haag (standing) observes a participant training on CPR.
Jo Haag (standing) observes a participant training on CPR.

Although this wasn’t a childhood career aspirations, one of Jo’s very first toys – the Nurse Barbie Careers Doll – proved prescient. What drew Jo to the profession is a little bit of a blur, but she really loved helping people and the variety of doing different things. As she grew in her career, she felt a sense of accomplishment that drove her to continue. Jo has worked in many different departments, from Labor and Delivery to ER to ICU, and even as a flight nurse. “I’ve been a nurse for so long it is part of who I am.”

Jo grew up and worked in Illinois both a hospital nurse and American Heart Association volunteer. She was also an adjunct faculty member at three different colleges. She loved the feeling of explaining academic concepts to students and seeing the “light bulb of knowledge” go off.

Jo had hospital colleagues who said she would be a great CPR instructor. She gave it a whirl, enjoyed it and got involved at wider level. She still teaches CPR classes at her church and in the community.

Photo - Jo Haag at Training Center
Jo Haag (center) attends the opening of a Training Center in Hong Kong.

Jo has been a in her role as a Resuscitation Learning Director at the American Heart Association for a little over a year. She still maintains her skills as a nurse: “Keeping my license as a nurse gives me credibility in my position at AHA since primarily the audience I work with is the medical profession.” A big chunk of Jo’s role is also interacting with international training network, working with health professionals in many countries to establish AHA training.

Jo emphasizes how important it is for everyone to learn CPR because CPR can and does save lives. “We are getting more and more data on that. Even if all you get out of a class is call 9-1-1, it’s better than nothing. CPR empowers people to take action.”


During Nurses Week, we salute Jo and all of her colleagues in the nursing profession.

You are everyday superheroes!