by Vickie Jenkins – Writer/Photographer
Rachel is an outstanding nurse that works for the Adult Oncology Service Line at OU Medicine. Some people have a calling to work in the medical field while others feel a real desire to give back after a certain incident has occurred. This seems to be the case for Rachel Aline Hollen Bublitz, MSN, APRN, AGCNS-BC. Becoming a nurse was proof that Rachel found her purpose in life.
In 2005, Rachel was diagnosed with advanced stage ovarian cancer. “The next six months of my life were the hardest days that I ever lived. When I was given the all clear, I was consumed by gratitude and needed a purpose. Becoming a nurse was a natural decision. I currently work in oncology and feel like I have made a full circle. The feeling of knowing that I am helping others that are going through some of the same trials makes such a difference. Now, being on both sides, I can relate to the patients in a special way. Working in oncology is so rewarding and I can’t imagine doing anything else. I love that working as a nurse, I can do my job and when I leave to go home and go to bed at night, I know that I am making a difference in others’ lives.”
Growing up in Cache, Oklahoma, Rachel moved to Springfield, Missouri and that is where she became interested in pursuing a career in the medical field. From the age of fourteen, Rachel was introduced to caring for others as a Medical Explorer. “I completed my LPN at Ozark Technical Community College. My first job as a nurse was working as an acute care rehab nurse. I knew I wanted to work in the medial field and I looked into multiple areas. From there, I moved to Lawton, Oklahoma and worked for Promise Care Hospice. Not long afterwards, I attended University of Oklahoma, receiving my BSN and MSN. I remember my first three years in college; I majored in Cellular and Molecular Biology studying genetics.” Rachel stated.
Rachel’s decision to be a nurse was influenced by several people in her life. “After going through cancer myself, it gave me a whole new outlook on life. My mother and my grandma both had such a big influence on me. They kept me positive when things were at their worst. My chemo nurse, Patsy was a big influence too, along with my oncologist, Dr. Bonebreak. I have had a lot of people that have helped me in so many ways.” Rachel commented.
Did you have any mentors in school? “Yes, I had several mentors and they all played an important part in my life. I want to mention, Yvonne Hall, Jessie Wheatley, Kathy Graham, Lynette Carter and Dr. Rosemary Bellino. They were all there for me and I will be grateful for them for helping me become a nurse,” Rachel replied.
When asking Rachel what qualities make a good nurse, she replied, “I think a nurse needs to have compassion, be competent, caring, and responsible and be a great communicator. All of these qualities are important to both the nurse and the patient.”
Rachel has received several recognitions over the last ten years of being a nurse; Great 100 Nurses of Oklahoma for 2019, and was a finalist in the oncology category for the Oklahoman’s Recognizing Nurses Program 2020. Rachel also received a grant through the Hospice Foundation of America ‘Being Mortal’ project and is a member of several nursing organizations which includes Oklahoma Nurse Association, Central Oklahoma Oncology Nursing Society and also serves as the secretary for the Oklahoma Hospice and Palliative Care Nurses Association.
On a personal level, Rachel is married to her wonderful husband, David. They have six wonderful kids and two grandchildren. That makes quite a family! When asking Rachel to describe herself, she said, “I’m a mother, wife, daughter and nurse. I am insightful, eclectic, passionate, capable, loyal and grateful. My hobby is traveling. Let’s go!”
Rachel’s days always begin with a grateful heart. “Time is a precious thing to have and I am thankful for every day,” she said. Do you live by any encouraging words? “Yes, wear your seatbelt, don’t speed and remember I love you. Live upwardly mobile,” she said with a smile. How many moms have said those same words? Last but not least, how would Rachel sum up her life in one word? “That would be blessed.”