Videos: Today's Military

    A Navy Nurse at Work(02:40)

    Nicole Benson, a pediatric nurse, discusses the Nurse Candidate Program and what drew her to service. The Nurse Candidate Program (NCP) pays for nursing school and commissions graduates as Navy Nurse Corps Officers.

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Lt. Nicole Benson: I’ve always wanted to help people.  Being a nurse, you’re able to come in, you do your job, you help people.

My name’s Nicole, I’m taking care of you guys today.  (inaudible)

This morning, we had a sedation procedure.  We had a bronchoscopy.  Basically, he’s been having some colds, and his mom’s heard some wheezing.  So the pulmonologist wanted to come in and see if he had any restricted airways.

Female Speaker: I’m counting on you guys.

Lt. Nicole Benson: That child is counting on you.  That family is counting on you.  Especially in pediatrics.  Having a child there in front of you being sick, knowing that you can bring them comfort, you can bring them care, and make them feel better so that they can walk out is truly tremendous in my life.  You just got to keep the smile, keep pushing through, and know that you are making the world a better place, and caring so that the parents don’t have to think about what’s going on with their child, that they know that they’re in good hands.

Being in the nurse candidate program allowed me to focus on my studies and focus on being a nurse.  The Navy is a great place for learning, a great place for increasing your knowledge base.  The doctors actually stay on the unit.  We have a conversation.  We go back and forth for what is best for the patient.  How many nurses can say that they can get free training, and get paid?

I learned through the Navy that no matter what, I can do it.  I have willpower, and as long as my brain stays in it, I can do it.

You’re making a difference to medicine, you’re making a difference to your country, and I’m making a difference to my family.  As a Navy nurse, I really can’t ask for more.  It feels great being that person there, with the family, with the mom, with the patient, being there as they wake up.  It’s a great feeling to know that you helped them get through their procedure, and maybe even helped with the diagnosis of what’s going on with them.  That’s what nursing is all about.

For the most part, you come in, work day in day out.  You’re a nurse.  That’s your job, you’re a nurse.  But in the end, you’re a Navy officer, above and beyond being a nurse.  I feel so proud.  Oh my goodness, (laughter) I’m going to get emotional.  I feel so proud that I am able to wear this uniform, because there are a lot of people who can’t.

My name is Nicole Benson.  I’m a Lieutenant Junior Grade in the Navy Nurse Corps.