As far back as I can remember, I have wanted to be a nurse. My initial exposure to nursing came mostly from school and television. When I was young I watched the old medical shows with my parents. I saw nurses working in hospitals alongside doctors, helping to care for all kinds of patients. Their jobs seemed so vital to the recovery of the people in their care, and I wanted to learn more about the profession.
Once I started studying history in school, I began to read about people such as Florence Nightingale and Clara Barton. The impact they had on the care of soldiers during times of war solidified my desire to pursue a career as a nurse.
I studied nursing at Boston College and graduated with a BSN in 1993. Right out of school I began working as a medical-surgical staff nurse in Massachusetts. I had been working for over a year when I began to wonder about other areas of nursing. My roommate in college was now a nurse in the US Army, and she encouraged me to check out military nursing, which I did. I was impressed with the opportunities that they had to offer nurses for training and travel, so took a commission as a Navy Nurse Corps Officer.
With the Navy, I traveled to many places and received training in the operating room. I knew right away that this was my niche. Surgery is exciting, full of life-changing and life-saving procedures done right before your eyes. Currently, I have finished a tour with a surgical team deployed to the Persian Gulf.