Maria R. Mabe
To the editor:
As May is a month which recognizes nurses, I would like to highlight a career that I feel is very valuable in nursing.
My sister, Sara Cheaney Shaffer, is a commander in the U.S. Navy Nurse Corps. She currently is stationed at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center. She has been serving in the Navy Nurse Corps for 16 years.
She is an OB nurse midwife and family nurse practitioner. She received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees through the Navy. She has had many rewarding experiences in the Navy Nurse Corps.
When she was a Center Grove High School student, she and my father attended college night at Center Grove. My father saw the sign for the Purdue Naval ROTC nursing program. He steered her to that table, even though she was reluctant. They made a deal. She would try the ROTC program at Purdue her freshman year, and if she did not like it, she could withdraw from ROTC before signing the contract.
She decided to do the medical cruise before making her final decision of whether to stay in or not. She flew to Puerto Rico and got on the USS Eisenhower and was part of the medical corps that trip. The ship went from Puerto Rico to Norfolk, Virginia.
There she met all kinds of college students from all over the country. She fell in love with the Navy Nurse Corps as she saw the other college students in love with the military and the medical corps.
This past April she was named one of the 50 Golden Graduates of the Purdue University School of Nursing, which recently celebrated its 50th anniversary. She came back to Purdue that weekend and spoke to the students in the Naval ROTC nursing program at Purdue, encouraging them to stick with their studies and the Naval ROTC nursing program.
Middle school and high school students, if you are interested in nursing as a career, check out the ROTC programs in nursing at any university. And if you are reluctant, listen to your elders, as they are providing sound advice.