U.S. Navy veteran finds his niche in nursing

November 10, 2016

“What I find most attractive about nursing is the versatility, autonomy, patient advocacy and overall kindness of the field.”

There are many different paths to and through a nursing education.  The flexibility, rewards and challenges of a career in nursing attract people from a range of backgrounds and experiences.   Karl Gores entered the Bachelor of Science in Nursing program in Rochester, after a four-year enlistment in the U.S. Navy. 

He joined the Navy right out of high school and was stationed on the USS Ross, a guided missile destroyer, which took him across the Atlantic Ocean, the Mediterranean Sea, Red Sea, Black Sea and Indian Ocean.  He worked as an IT technician working with satellites, antennas routers and servers on through two overseas deployments. 

Upon his return, Karl was not sure what career he wanted to pursue.  He attended Saint Paul College, where he completed an Associate in Arts degree with honors. He was naturally interested in health sciences, as his father is an MD at the Mayo Clinic, but decided medicine was not the right fit.

Gores was drawn to nursing because it is a blend of hard and soft sciences.  The ethical nature of the nurse is something that he says drew him in, emphasizing that nurses hold their patient’s values as their own. “What I find most attractive about nursing is the versatility, autonomy, patient advocacy and overall kindness of the field,” said Gores.

Speaking of his current experiences and clinical rotations as a junior in the BSN program in Rochester, he said he was surprised by the degree of independent work and small class sizes. “The professors truly are there to help and want everyone to succeed,” he said. “They consistently take extra time to ensure that everyone is on the same page and no student is left behind.”

Though many of his classmates are planning on entering graduate school immediately after completing the BSN program, he is intent on being a bedside nurse to gain experience before considering further education. He’s using his time in the program to find out what area of nursing interests him the most, stating that he finds post-operative care and rehabilitation to be the most appealing. “I really love the idea of facilitating and aiding someone through the rehabilitation process,” he said. “I think it would be a very powerful and rewarding experience for everyone involved.”