M. Lawson

October 2009
Class of 2010


This I believe about nursing… “It is a health care career that opens the door to countless opportunities to help those who are ill, injured or unable to care for themselves.”

I began my career in health care work as a certified athletic trainer. I enjoyed my job immensely but I wanted something more; I wanted to be challenged. I also had a desire to serve the country that has done so much to serve me. I went and talked with a Navy officer recruiter to discuss my options for enlisting into the Navy and continue to work in the realm of health care. There were several possibilities: medicine, physical therapy, dentistry and nursing. Of all of the choices, nursing was the obvious one.    

While working as an athletic trainer, I have had the pleasure of working with many nurses in many different areas including the doctor’s office, surgery intake, recovery, the operating room and the emergency department-  just to name a few. I have always admired the nursing profession for the vast knowledge in health care, the ability to multitask, the passion for a profession, and the care for patients. While I am not sure what area or specialty of nursing I am attracted to most, I am confident that I will find a setting that will be rewarding for me both professionally and personally. All the while, I will also be serving my country and caring for the soldiers, sailors and families of those who have made a commitment to protect us.    

Athletic training is not a profession that makes a significant amount of money and even though the Navy would be helping me pay for my tuition, I was still worried about my financial ability to commit to such a life changing decision. The kind individuals at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation have helped erase those worries with their generous scholarship. I now don’t have to worry about juggling school, homework, clinical hours, a part-time job and my personal life. I can focus on what’s most important, my education.   
While I am not sure what the future may hold, I am confident that I have made the right decision. I know there is a nursing specialty that I will find to be rewarding. I am extremely excited to begin this new chapter in my life. I am even more excited to give back to those who have given so much to me.