Fort Polk, La. –
Reserve Officer Training cadets from universities across the country got hands on experience this summer as part of the Army’s Nurse Summer Training Program. NSTP only accepts top ROTC applicants and Bayne-Jones Army Community Hospital, had three of the very best. NSTP cadets had one-on-one training with preceptors from the BJACH emergency, labor delivery and postpartum and mixed medical surgical departments.
Cadet Sophia Ganassia, University of Utah, said she joined ROTC to become a nurse.
“Ever since I can remember I wanted to serve in the military and work in the medical field,” she said. “The most rewarding part of the NSTP has been meeting and connecting with new people from all over the country.”
Ganassia said being a student nurse at BJACH has been a positive and rewarding experience.
“Everyone I’ve met has been willing to teach and develop me as a future officer and nurse,” she said. "This opportunity has taught me how to manage my time and emotions in a high stress environment.”
Cadet Alexandra Andrick, Indiana University of Pennsylvania said training at BJACH opened her eyes to what being an Army Nurse is all about.
“Lt. Col. Michelle O’Neil was my preceptor. She was very knowledgeable and kind to me,” she said. “She really wanted to train and develop
me as a nurse and future Army officer.”
Andrick said cadets traveled during their off time and she loved visiting New Orleans while in the state.
While at BJACH the NSTP coordinator, Maj. Markesia Hubbard, provided cadets with an opportunity to try simulators, visit operational units and learn more about the Army beyond the walls of the hospital.
“Learning how to be a better nurse, earning clinical hours and hands on experience in a military treatment facility is the primary purpose of the summer training program,” she said. “However, we wanted to give the cadets a taste of the Army and send them away from this experience enriched by it.”
Cadet Phillip Krisko II, Duquesne University, said the most rewarding part for him was meeting new people and having an experience many of his peers do not get.
“This opportunity has taught me that the Army can provide you with so much. It can help you get on your feet and put you on a path that the civilian world might not have led you down. I have gotten to see a lot. It taught me that nursing has many paths that can allow me to hopefully find my purpose,” he said.