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American Nurse welcomes Cherissa Jackson, “America’s Combat Nurse”

By: Cherissa Jackson, “America’s Combat Nurse”; Air Force Veteran; Women Veteran advocate

Live at the Table interview with Navy Veteran, Denetra Hampton

Often times women are omitted from board room discussions or asked to be a part of major discussions. Women Veterans even more so have this same challenge and often undervalue their worth after they transition from active duty. My mission was to create a “Table” for us to tell our stories and empower others with our courageous victories of powering through our pains of suicide, domestic abuse, military sexual trauma, PTSD, etc. If the world doesn’t have a table and seat for us, I just created one with the “Live at the Table” interview series. This episode’s guest is retired Navy Veteran and Nurse, Denetra Hampton.

Cherissa Jackson served 23 years of active duty military service with 10 of those years as an U.S. Air Force Nurse. She is a veteran of both Operation Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom, having served a total of 3 combat deployments where she honed her expertise as a battlefield clinician. 

 Following her honorable service, Jackson became an ambassador and advocate for persons with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). She was inducted into the SHEROES United Organization  Hall of Fame and traveled to Rome, Italy in November 2016 in order to collaborate with the Vatican, the Nation of Congo, and the city of Amatrice, Italy to help advance a global discussion on eliminating stigmas associated with PTSD.  She has a non-profit that saves the lives of women from cervical cancer called “Project Give Hope” and has travelled internationally to Uganda in 2017, and 2018 and will be traveling overseas in 2020.

 Jackson is the author of “At Peace Not in Pieces,” a bestselling memoir that outlines her principles of coping with her own PTSD challenges as a combat veteran and nurse. She was also named one of “25 Individuals of Influence” in the June 2018 issue of PTSD magazine and recently joined the HillVets 100 list of top influencers of 2018. Cherissa also won the “Daily Record Top 100 Maryland Women for 2016” for her efforts with PTSD. Recently Cherissa was awarded the first “Passion Award” at the AVB 2019 (American Veterans Ball). She is 2020’s recipient of “The Vettys” (Veterans Award) for excellence in Mental Health. She also won the “Star Nurses Nightingale Award” amongst 600 nominees in September 2020.  The award was a collaboration between Washington Post and American Nurses Association. 

 She joined AMVETS on February 1, 2019 as Chief Medical Executive and leads the organization’s HEAL Program, which strives to confront the risk factors that lead to crisis and veteran suicide. She uses her experience to lead the organization’s effort to address issues related to women veterans and champion legislation that improves access to quality healthcare.  She has conducted several Focus groups around women veterans and LGBT+ communities.  She and her team launched a Suicide Prevention Training in September 2019 during Suicide Prevention Month.  She also created a one of a kind, Women Journey Map that details the experiences of women veterans from induction to separation/retirement to help the VA and legislators understand what programs are needed to combat the increased rate of suicide in women veterans. Her inaugural “ROSE Brunch” (Respect our Sheroes Experiences) was a huge success as she created an event for Women Veterans during Veterans Day weekend to inspire, motivate and encourage women veterans to know that “it’s ok to not be ok”. She launched a talk show on MSI (Military Sisterhood Initiative) platform called “Who’s at the Table” to provide a place for Women Veterans to discuss their triumphs and share their stories with the world.

 Jackson is a mother of twin daughters and holds a Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing degree from the Medical University of South Carolina.

Follow Cherissa on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn.

The views and opinions expressed by My Nurse Influencer contributors are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions or recommendations of the American Nurses Association, the Editorial Advisory Board members, or the Publisher, Editors and staff of American Nurse Journal. These are opinion pieces and are not peer reviewed.

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