Training in Germany starts cadets’ path toward Army Nursing

By John CiccarelliAugust 22, 2023

Training in Germany starts cadets’ path toward Army Nursing
Army Reserve Officers' Training Corps (ROTC) cadets (left to right) Cadet Elizabeth Shirrell, Cadet Lucas Morris and Cadet Fiona Reckart prepare a medical manakin for a video production to present during their final presentation as part of the Nurse Summer Training Program (NSTP). The month-long program aims to introduce future Army nurses, currently enrolled in an ROTC program, to military medicine and the roles and responsibilities of Army Nurse Corps officers. (Photo Credit: U.S. Army photo by John Ciccarelli) VIEW ORIGINAL

LANDSTUHL, Germany — Seven Army Reserve Officers' Training Corps cadets recently participated in the Nurse Summer Training Program at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center, gaining hands-on experience in military medicine and the responsibilities of Army Nurse Corps officers.

The month-long program familiarizes future Army nurses with the complexities of military medicine. In approximately 120 hours of clinical nursing experience, cadets networked with current Army nurses and received one-on-one training and mentorship from LRMC’s medical professionals.

The program is offered at U.S. military treatment facilities in the U.S. and overseas and is typically completed between the junior and senior years of college. The most recent cohort at LRMC included: Lucas Morris, South Dakota State University; Elizabeth Shirrell, Truman State University; Fiona Reckart, Kent State University; Jaiden Childs, Seattle University; Nathan Howard, University of Pittsburg; Marin Johnson, Clemson University; and Sadie Babka, University of Utah.

Each cadet works alongside a registered nurse, said 1st Lt. Shawna Mumma, RN, BSN, a nurse at the LRMC Labor, Delivery, Recovery, Postpartum Unit who mentored the cadets.

“For most of the cadets, this is their first introduction to Army nursing,” Mumma said. “They get a glimpse of what they will do once commissioned and soak in all the new terminology, clinical environments, and create valuable connections with peers and leaders in all areas of military medicine. At LRMC, the cadets explore multiple units, follow our Air Force teammates at En-Route Patient Staging, participate in medical trauma team training and visit the 512th Field Hospital at Rhine Ordnance Barracks. The cadets receive a unique experience at LRMC due to our location.”

Morris, from South Dakota State University, said working closely with a variety of nurses at LRMC allowed him to understand what it means to be an Army nurse.

“I found Medical Trauma Team Training the most exciting because it’s medicine in the deployed setting,” said Morris. “The challenges that come along with deployed medicine are really intriguing because you’re working with a small team in an austere environment.”

Morris also commented that the Nurse Summer Training Program reinforced his desire to work in an emergency room setting and deployed medicine.

“(The Nurse Summer Training Program) was unique because I've never had those kinds of experiences,” he said. “I have a better idea of what to expect when I first hit the floor as a new Army nurse. LRMC was my top choice, and it’s been a great experience getting to work throughout the entire hospital and experience some of Germany.”

Shirrell, from Truman State University, said also valued the ability to experience emergency care.

“Being able to see how everybody functioned as a team was very insightful to me,” said Shirrell. “I've always been leaning toward emergency room, but this solidified it, being able to work in one, because I hadn’t yet. Being able to see that process and be a part of that quick in and out — trying to prioritize interventions and decide who's most important to see first — has really helped me get better at nursing.”

Reckart, from Kent State University, said the Nurse Summer Training Program opened her eyes to the possibilities available to her as an Army nurse.

“Experiencing the different routes, you can take as an Army nurse has been awesome,” Reckart said. “I've talked to people who have focused more on the clinical aspect, people who are focused more on the leadership aspect, and I’ve been able to see how you can do both. I also enjoyed being involved with improving quality and safety for patients.”

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