PROFILE: Nurse, Army Wife, Mom of 5, Heads to NYC to Battle Virus

As an Army spouse, Jessica Henninger has a lot of experience with deployment.

Its a different scenario now that she is the one leaving the children in the care of her spouse as she heads to NYC to assist the overwhelmed health care system at the epicenter of the Corona Virus.

She found an opportunity to be a fill in traveling nurse, but at first didn’t consider that she would be leaving her family to pursue this. Henninger was more focused on helping, but it did really hit her the night before she left: she was leaving her 4 month old newborn son.

While Henninger knows it will be hard for her family, she said as a nurse it’s just what we do. Her husband is supportive of her decision and understands that this is what his wife has been trained to do.

“There was this drive, I guess, just hearing all of the stories about how bogged down the nurses were and the atrocious nurse-patient ratios,” Henninger said. “I thought, ‘I have these skills, and they’re not being used.’ I can be helpful. I can’t … just sit here on these skills doing nothing.'”

Usually the traveling nurses are the “new kids on the block,” but this time both traveling nurses and regular medical staff are navigating through the Corona Virus together, as none have been through this before.

The length of time she will be there is estimated at 8 weeks, but she is remaining flexible as they receive daily updates on the progress of the virus. Her years of being a military spouse will lend well to her need to remain flexible in her current situation.


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