Love of nursing takes assistant professor on winding career path

Jere Hammer

From time in the military, to work with underserved populations, to writing, many of Jere Hammer’s life adventures stem back to one thing: a love for her chosen trade.

The University of Houston-Victoria assistant professor has harbored a lifelong career in nursing, a career path that changed and grew as she did.

The Texas transplant with burnt orange blood earned a bachelor’s degree in nursing from the University of Texas at Austin. She moved on to the University of Texas at Tyler for her master’s degree, but when the time came to earn her doctorate, she returned to her Austin alma mater.

“Hook ’em, as we like to say,” she said as she chuckled.

Her path led her to the U.S. Air Force Reserve, where she was deployed as a military nurse during Operation Desert Storm. While Hammer said she was proud to serve her country, her young daughter wasn’t so sure.

“She wanted to know if I could ask the president to let me stay,” Hammer said. “But my husband took great care of the kids while I was gone, and I don’t think they were any worse for the wear.”

At another point, Hammer’s work took her to Oklahoma, where she assisted with the state’s Indian Health Service. The career move made a lasting impact.

“One thing you begin to see is that health care is not equal for everyone,” she said. “There are disparities, depending on who you are and where you live. It’s one of those things that I hope we, as nurses, can try to fix.”

Hammer’s latest venture is a soon-to-be-published paper for the Journal of Nursing Care Quality that examines rapid response teams’ effectiveness in preventing patients’ deaths. Such teams aim to prevent patients from suffering cardiopulmonary arrest.

While her studies indicated some rapid response teams might be associated with decreased patient deaths, it also showed more research was necessary.

“I’m looking forward to seeing my name in print,” said the educator, who joined the UHV School of Nursing in 2008. “It’s exciting.”

Today, Hammer’s schedule keeps her busy. When she isn’t working, conducting research or riding her bike in Port Lavaca – a much easier task there that on Austin’s hilly terrain – you’ll find her spending time with her grandchildren.

“I don’t have time for much else,” she said with a laugh, noting that she would eventually like to take up piano and painting. “But I love it.”

The Faculty Feature is an online feature highlighting faculty members from each of the University of Houston-Victoria’s four schools. To nominate a faculty member, contact Paula Cobler, UHV interim director of marketing and communications, or call 361-570-4350.

The University of Houston-Victoria, located in the heart of the Coastal Bend region since 1973 in Victoria, Texas, offers courses leading to more than 80 academic programs in the schools of Arts & Sciences; Business Administration; and Education, Health Professions & Human Development. UHV provides face-to-face classes at its Victoria campus, as well as an instructional site in Katy, Texas, and online classes that students can take from anywhere. UHV supports the American Association of State Colleges and Universities Opportunities for All initiative to increase awareness about state colleges and universities and the important role they have in providing a high-quality and accessible education to an increasingly diverse student population, as well as contributing to regional and state economic development.

Allison Miles 361-570-4342