Brian Carr, MSN, RN, CEN, EMT-P
Lieutenant Colonel Brian Carr, MSN, RN, CEN, EMT-P, currently serves a Chief Nurse for the United States Air Force Reserve Unit, Air Medical Staging Squadron at the 911th Air Lift Wing headquartered in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He is also a Flight Nurse Specialist with Cleveland Metro Life Flight. In his story he discussed both aspects of his career and explains why nursing is such a rewarding profession.
As a nurse for over 20 years, my career has been extremely rewarding and fulfilling in both the civilian as well as in the military environment. I have never looked at nursing as a job but rather more a passion- to make a difference! Once a nurse, you are always a nurse. I have focused my entire career on being able to function at a high level when it matters most to the lives of patients and when patients are the most critical, whether that was on the side of the road, in the ICU, or the battlefield.
At this point in my career, the most rewarding and inspirational time has been while I was deployed overseas taking care of our nation’s wounded warriors. Providing trauma care to those soldiers who were willing to defend our county and protect our freedoms was emotionally inspiring--unlike anything else I have ever experienced. If given the opportunity, I would do it again without reservation or hesitation. My experience in the military has taken me around the world and afforded me so many nursing opportunities that I never dreamed of when I raised my hand to join. Joining the military has been such a positive experience for me. I am so glad I took advantage of this opportunity. Nursing is a unique profession because of the emotional connections that you make with your patients that create life long memories- most are good, some not so much. For me, the focus is on the next opportunity to save a life or make a difference.
To those who aspire to become a nurse and enter this rewarding profession, I would say that this profession will provide a lifetime of opportunities, both professionally and personally. Being able to help others at times that matter most is both a gratifying and enriching experience. Nursing is a complex profession that allows you to challenge yourself in so many ways: physically, mentally, and emotionally, with diverse experiences unlike any other career. If or when you need a change in career path, there are many opportunities to take advantage of to keep your passion for the profession alive, and to continue to make a difference!