“I was a late-life nurse, having graduated from nursing school the month before I turned 50. I had been a hospice volunteer for nine years before I decided to leave my defense and law enforcement career and go to nursing school. Hospice nurses and patients taught me a great deal about life, and I knew that was what I wanted to share with others.”
“As luck would have it, I worked as a full-time nurse for only a few years before 9/11 brought me back to federal service in the war on terror. Over the next seven years, I worked outside the field of nursing, including a couple of tours in Afghanistan. When I was able, I volunteered as a nurse on medical missions in India, Cambodia, and Africa. Today, I am retired, but I continue to volunteer as a nurse for under-served populations, mainly overseas. Without the resources available at U.S. hospitals, I need to thoroughly understand disease and interventions in order to be resourceful enough to provide the best care possible in impoverished circumstances. I take a lot of continuing education, but over the years, my confidence waned and I wanted something more comprehensive.”
“I have taken the University of Delaware RN Refresher course twice. It is approved by the Maryland Board of Nursing for licensure, and helps me stay up-to-date with my skills. The courses also bolstered my confidence in clinical decision-making. The online format has allowed me to learn at my own pace and presented all the information I needed, yet did not interfere with my volunteer work. The clinical hours in a Maryland teaching hospital sharpened my hospital skills and reacquainted me with state-of-the-art technology. Though I tend to volunteer in places that don’t have electricity, much less state-of-the-art technology, it’s good to know that I could step into a hospital setting during a disaster here at home.”
Rosemary Dew is a retired FBI special agent and registered nurse. She has written about her experiences in No Backup: My Life as a Female FBI Special Agent and In Mother Teresa’s House: A Hospice Nurse in the Slums Of Calcutta.