Midshipman First Class Erin Gauck shares her experience at the Marquette University NROTC's Biennial Navy Nurse Corps Symposium held in November.
"CU NROTC recently sent five of our midshipmen to Marquette University NROTC's Biennial Navy Nurse Corps Symposium. Attended by midshipmen from more than 25 universities, the goals of the symposium were to provide first-hand information about career paths and the personnel assignment process for Navy nurses, and to collaborate on leadership and training. Conducted in a panel discussion format, the attendees heard from and interacted with key leaders in the Navy nursing community and the Dean of the Marquette University College of Nursing.
Starting as a nurse, leadership stems from first developing clinical skills. Learning the scope of practice and building on clinical skill education is necessary for nurses to practice competently. This transition as a new officer allows for nurses to later on display clinical leadership and fabricates a foundation that will be used throughout a Navy nurse’s career. This transition period also obliges officers to critically think and ask for help or guidance when needed. And, this guidance can come from not only their superiors, but from enlisted Sailors and civilian hospital employees.
Clinical professional development through certifications, sub-specializations, and additional operational responsibilities is also highly encouraged. Through participating in collateral duties both within and outside of the unit in which the nurse works, personnel aid in Command readiness and motivate others by setting a good example. Leaders within the military nursing environment continue to diversify their career and make themselves “marketable” to the Navy. Within the Nurse Corps, development of leadership and ones’ profession go hand in hand.
One of the best pieces of advice given at the symposium was “to evaluate yourself and do the things that will get you to where you want to go.” A true leader strives to be successful at every level. Nurses must master the clinical knowledge to then be able to build their leadership capabilities one level at a time, from clinical settings to command and community as a commissioned officer."