Navy nurse

I wanted to be a nurse since I was 9 years old. One of the best decisions I ever made. I graduated in 1969 from a three-year RN school. At the time, it was called Ann May School of Nursing and the hospital was Fitkin Memorial in Neptune, N.J. It is now called Jersey Shore Medical Center and the nursing school is no longer there. My second-best decision was becoming a Navy nurse in the Reserve. I served two years of active duty and that was at Portsmouth Naval Hospital, Portsmouth, Va. I loved being in the Navy! I didn't get to 'see the world' but I sure did get a lot of experience. For the first year and a half I worked on three units that covered two floors: Urology, Plastics/ENT and Thoracic/Vascular, Eye. My last six months I worked Routine Post Partum. This final area of work helped me get a job when we moved to Montana. By then I was married. Two of my three sons were born in Bozeman, Mont. I have lived in Montana since 2002.

Officer Candidate School was enlightening. The obstacle course, well, let's just say it was the low point. I don't do well with heights and when I had to go down the rope I ended up with second-degree rope burns! I was excused from swimming, which meant I didn't have to jump the 40 feet into the pool, but I felt like I missed something, so I convinced him to let me do it. My only regret is I didn't join the Legion until 14 years ago!

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