Military recruiters look for nurses who excel academically, are involved in their communities, show strong moral character and have a willingness to serve. That description adds up to Lieutenant Robyn Reynolds ’05.
Robyn, originally from Harrisburg, Pa., chose to join the Navy. She completed her bachelor’s degree in nursing at York College using the Navy scholarship program.
After a three-month orientation to the Bethesda Naval Hospital, she worked on an orthopedic/trauma unit caring for soldiers who had been in Iraq and Afghanistan; she saw patients with traumatic amputations, multiple fractures and incendiary explosive device injuries. Her York education was put to the test.
“I was responsible for providing nursing care to seven patients at a time at the Navy hospital,” she said. “I was constantly challenged.” After nine months of working the surgical ward, Robyn was promoted to a charge nurse.
“My education has allowed me to think and react quickly,” she said. “I think the quick promotion was a testament of that.”
Her position in the Navy places her in high-stakes situations around the world. Robyn found herself caring for the battle wounds of troops fighting on the front lines. She has provided care to American soldiers in Germany and to British and American soldiers in Kuwait.
“What I saw is Kuwait influenced me to become a critical care nurse, because I wanted to be able to provide aid to those in the Intensive Care Unit. Patients in the ICU suffer from critical, life-threatening injuries and need the most care.”
Robyn’s nursing care has stretched far beyond her time caring for soldiers in the Middle East and the United States. In 2010, Robyn traveled on USNS Comfort , a Navy hospital ship, to Haiti, where she helped earthquake victims desperately in need of medical assistance. She was exposed to situations even more difficult and unusual than her work with combat wounds.
“I cared for children and babies suffering from issues ranging from crushing injuries to Tetanus, from amputations to malnutrition,” she explained. “Even though pediatric care was not a common issue in the military hospitals where I previously worked, I quickly learned and adapted my nursing skills.”
In 2010, Robyn received the Patient Advocate Award and Humanitarian award for her work in the United States and abroad.
Robyn said, “York College gave me the skills I needed to enter the military and begin a rewarding career as a nurse.”
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