After the Military Life: A Veteran Turned Accelerated Nursing Student

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Eudon Perkins, who served in both the Marines and the US Army, shares his experience and what we went through after the military life. Perkin went from a life of service in the military to a life as a nursing student at Marian University's Accelerated Nursing Program in Indianapolis.

After the military life: a veteran turned accelerated nursing student

What was your title and rank in the military?

I started in the Marine Corps from April 1997 to December 2006. My rank was Staff Sergeant. I was in the US Army from January 2007 to present day. My rank is  1st Lieutenant.

Where were you deployed and for how long?

I was deployed to Iraq twice: 14 August 2004 -05 February 2005 and 05 March 2006-29 September 2006.

When did you decide to enter into military service? Why?

I moved from my native country (Montserrat) to the United States in 1996 then joined the military as a way out of my neighborhood in Brooklyn, New York and also to pay for college.

What was your first bachelor’s degree in?

My first degree is a BA (Bachelor of Arts) in general studies with minors in history, sociology and military science from Ball State University,  I then got an MSM (Master of Science in Management) with a concentration in healthcare followed by an MA (Master of Arts) in executive development for public service from Ball State University.

Why did you decide to go into nursing after the military life? What were your influences?

The two things that made me decide to go into nursing was the difference that the nurses and medical professions made to the military personnel and locals of Iraq.  Witnessing their dedication without hesitation and them saving lives [made me realize] I wanted to become part of the military health care system.

Did your military career play a role in your decision to earn an Accelerated BSN? How?

After two tours in Iraq and seeing the death and carnage war can bring, I felt that I could help make a difference in the world, and what better way than helping those in need. I felt that nursing would help me serve soldiers and my community.

Where do you hope to work after graduation?

I hope to work at the VA (Veterans Affairs) helping the heroes of the “World Greatest Military.”

Is there a certain nursing specialty you hope to have a career in?

I want to go into psychiatric nursing since I am always curious about the human mind and a lot of veterans have various forms of mental problems due the wars. I want to be there for them because I can relate to some of their issues.

Would you ever want to return to military service to use your nursing degree?

I would return if the opportunity came, but unfortunately they are not taking reserve officers back on active duty. Hopefully I can deploy a few times and use my skills and experiences to better assist my soldiers.

Why did you choose an accelerated nursing program instead of a traditional four-year BSN program?

I chose the accelerated nursing program due to the flexibility. I did not want to be in school longer than necessary since I have spent every year of my adult life in some form of school or training.

Is there anything else you want to add about your nursing school experience, military experience or desire to become a nurse?

So far the program has being the most challenging academic pursuit in my life, but if I make it through I will be helping other who in turn can make a difference.

What would you say to those in the military who are considering becoming a nurse?

I would tell them pursue their dreams since serving in the military has taught them dedication and service to others traits that should be present in every nurse.

Finding a meaningful career after the military life where you continue to make a difference doesn't have to be complicated. Contact us today to learn how you can become a nurse in just 16 months.