Valrico resident Brandon Joseph, a student at Jersey College, recently served on a nursing mission trip in Castañer, Puerto Rico.

By Vanessa Evans

Jersey College, a nationally accredited private institution of higher learning, selected Brittany Jacobs from its Largo campus and Valrico resident Brandon Joseph from its Tampa campus, both current students of the Professional Nursing program, as well as Barbara Milot, an alumnus of the program at the Largo campus, to serve on the college’s nursing mission trip.

A group of 10 students and alumni representing each of Jersey College’s six campuses throughout New Jersey and Florida traveled to Castañer, Puerto Rico on a nursing mission trip from May 5-11. In Puerto Rico, each student and alumni mentor will spent at least seven to eight hours per day at Hospital General Castañer assisting doctors and nurses in areas such as emergency room triage, pediatrics and infection control.

The small village of Castañer was severely impacted by Hurricane Maria in 2017, leaving thousands of people dead across Puerto Rico, wiped away homes and farms and destroyed the electrical grid. During the trip, students had an opportunity to assist the community through home care visits with the Medical Director and Nurses from Hospital General Castañer.

“Having been interested in and involved in the healthcare community for much of my adult life, I am honored that I was chosen to work alongside the brave nurses, doctors and staff at Hospital General Castañer,” said Brandon Joseph, a student at Jersey College Tampa.

“In the two years as a student at Jersey College, I’ve grown in areas of professionalism, respect, integrity, diversity and excellence,” said Brittany Jacobs, a student at Jersey College Largo. “To be afforded this opportunity to work alongside well-respected doctors, nurses and staff at Hospital General Castañer, will give me the opportunity to demonstrate pride and allow me to grow even more as a professional nurse.”

To be selected for the trip, nursing students from Jersey College submitted essays explaining how they have demonstrated Jersey College’s values of ‘PRIDE’ (Professionalism, Respect, Integrity, Diversity and Excellence).

For more information about Jersey College and its nursing mission trip, visit

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