After graduation I will take my NCLEX – the national nursing exam to be licensed to practice. Once I've passed, I will spend nine weeks at Fort Sam Houston in Texas before being assigned to my permanent duty station. I will go through a six-month nurse residency program with preceptors before beginning to practice on my own.
Even though my service to the Army is required because I received a scholarship while in ROTC, I am honored to be able to serve those who serve our nation. It has been a good feeling knowing since my freshman year that I will have a career waiting for me after graduating.
For as long as I can remember, I have wanted to be in a profession of helping others. Nursing was the best way to do this and show compassion every single day with each patient you care for. Once deciding that I wanted to go into nursing, I found more information about becoming an Army nurse. I met with an active duty Army nurse during my junior year of high school, and she told me all about the process of going through nursing school as an ROTC cadet. Seeing that I could do both - become a registered nurse and a commissioned second lieutenant - in just four years had me thrilled for the future.
When they say it takes a village, they aren't just talking about raising young children. I have many, many people in my village to thank for helping me get to this point. Tom Anderson, in the ROTC department, has had nothing but encouragement and faith in me since the moment I met him as a wide-eyed 17-year-old interested in the program. He always took time out of his day to ask how an exam or quiz went while I stumbled through nursing school. Knowing that someone cared day in and day out was so meaningful to me during my time at Edinboro. Dr. Terri Astorino, my academic adviser from the nursing department, helped to keep me on track while I tried to keep up with the ROTC and nursing curriculum for four years. It was a challenge to fit in every class each semester, but she helped me do it without breaking a sweat. My father has been my biggest fan all my life, and there is nothing better than hearing him say that he's proud of me, knowing that he means it and knowing that I deserve it.
Edinboro University helped prepare me for the future by providing a top-notch nursing department and a phenomenal ROTC program. Both have been beyond supportive of each of my goals - becoming a registered nurse and a second lieutenant.
When starting my service to the Army, I will be working on a medical-surgical floor for the first two to three years. Eventually, I think I would like to go to the Army's labor and delivery nurse specialty school to become certified as a labor and delivery nurse.