By Leanne Thomas, Tripler Army Medical Center Public AffairsMay 10, 2018
HONOLULU (May 10, 2018) - Some pursue many professions before they find the right one, but for Maj. Frances Young, assistant clinical nurse officer in charge at Tripler Army Medical Center's Labor & Delivery Unit, becoming a labor and delivery nurse for the U.S. Army was destiny.
"I've only been in for 11 years so far, but it's been an amazing journey and an amazing opportunity to have leadership experiences and take care of patients (as an Army nurse)," said Young.
In 2003, Young looked into the local ROTC program while in high school and was afforded the opportunity to be selected for a nursing scholarship at a college close to home in Tennessee, graduating college in 2007.
"I was so grateful because I had a little brother, and I have a little sister, so I wanted to be close to home where I could be a part of their lives," she explained.
Three years after graduating college, Young was able to specialize as a labor and delivery nurse quickly advancing in her career.
"I remember crying at peoples' deliveries, I didn't even know who they were, and I can't count how many people I've been there for when their spouses weren't able to be there in that moment with them," Young said. "I may not have gotten to take care of deployed Soldiers on the battlefield, but our patients are in that critical environment every shift that we work."
Now taking on more of a leadership role in nursing, Young doesn't get to interact with patients on a daily basis as much, but she has found that nursing and leadership go "hand-in-hand."
"I feel like they are both acts of service, and they are both ways to make the people we are taking care of better," explained Young. "If I'm taking care of the people that take care of the patients, that's fulfilling and rewarding because that's what it's all about - taking care of our people."
Young watched her nursing career evolve due to the influence of great leaders along the way, but also from experiencing the loss of her little brother from a tragic accident early in her career. As tragic as it was, this experience really influenced Young's perspective on life in nursing.
"I'm grateful, even though it's terrible, but I look at life differently now, and I try not to take things for granted - those opportunities in nursing and leadership," said Young.
"I tell my staff, to me I feel fulfilled if I left them better than I found them, and I hope that they look at their patients like that, to leave them better than you found them," explained Young. "Do whatever you can in your capacity to make their day better because you're going to receive the blessing from that."