BREMERTON, Wash. (NNS) -- Service members from throughout Navy Region Northwest received career advice from Naval Hospital Bremerton (NHB) Nurse Corps members at the 3rd annual speed mentoring event May 8.
"This is the first time I've been to an event like this especially since I'm on a ship. Even the other corpsmen had never heard of something like. I learned about this event from our ship's nurse, Lt. Cmdr. Abbott," said Hospitalman Apprentice Priscilla Leon, aviation medicine technician assigned to USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76). "I hope to learn about the different types of nurses, how their job is, and how they got to where they're at right now."
In a format similar to speed dating, attendees were encouraged to go from one mentor to another with some suggested questions to help break the ice, get answers about the different specialties, and to see if a mentor was a good match. The casual atmosphere allowed attendees and mentors to quickly bond and learn about one another.
Nurses discussed their various specialties that included family nurse practitioners, executive medicine, nurse anesthetists, clinical nurse specialists, perioperative nursing, maternal child nursing, ambulatory, medical surgical, emergency, critical care nurses, pediatric and flight nursing, as well as deployment experiences.
"It's a way for junior nurses, enlisted Sailors, and nursing students or anyone interested in nursing to connect with people who are already established in areas [of nursing] they are interested in," said Lt. Cmdr Elizabeth Shaubell, NHB family nurse practitioner, one of the event coordinators.
"They don't necessarily have time to answer all of your questions, but you at least get to know who you want to seek out and get in touch with."
A dozen nurses representing different areas of nursing were ready to answer the questions posed by each attendee.
"I tried to get a lot of examples of what Navy nurses could do and what you can do to get there," said Shaubell. "We have CRNA (Certified Registered Nursing Anesthetist), ER nurses, nurses from ships, flight nurses, and nurses with various certifications."
The participants were inundated with assistance in making their choice of specialties and guidance to attain those goals.
"[With a mentor], they have someone they can go for questions and advice, help them prepare for applying for Duty Under Instruction (DUINS), and get a very realistic feel for the job by shadowing their mentor," said Lt. Cmdr. Christina Frix, NHB chief CRNA.
The event was a rare opportunity for shipboard Sailors aspiring to a Navy nursing career to obtain ample information and then pass it along to their shipmates.
"I'm definitely going to share the information when I get back to the ship. I have some fellow corpsmen who couldn't make it because of duty or other obligations. They're also interested," said Leon.
The speed mentoring event was held in conjunction with the NHB National Nurses Week celebration.
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