Air Force Technical Sergeant Chooses USF to Achieve Goal of Nursing
For Air Force Technical Sergeant Derrick Bailey, the desire to become a nurse has its roots in both his family and service experience. As with many people who choose nursing as a profession, the need to help people in need is a strong motivating force.
“One reason I decided to become a nurse was because of a deployment in 2008-2009 to Djibouti. I have seen the various military branches working together providing humanitarian support to the local community,” said TSgt Bailey. “This deployment also allowed me the opportunity to volunteer at an orphanage. I really enjoyed the feeling of helping out people in need.”
His father was an Air Force veteran so the choice to join the force seemed natural. However, it wasn’t until his father developed colon cancer that Derrick was exposed to the type of care that only nurses provide. The experience was to stay with him, and have a large influence on his decision to become a nurse.
“Another reason was through my father’s death, he died of colon cancer,” said Bailey. “My father’s nurses provided amazing care to help ease his pain and suffering. Even after his death, they stayed to help prepare his body for viewing.”
For TSgt Bailey, the opportunity to achieve the goal to become a nurse came through the Air Force. The Air Force has a commissioning program for enlisted members who desire to obtain a Bachelor of Science degree in nursing and become a commissioned officer nurse in the United States Air Force. The program is called the Nurse Enlisted Commissioning Program, or NECP. Those selected for the program attend college full-time at an accredited university, while remaining on active duty.
So, the why and how to become a nurse were covered – that just left the where. The USF College of Nursing became an obvious choice: Innovative nursing program, great location, VA Hospital, VA Nurse Academy, and an Air Force ROTC program.
“I decided to go to USF because I truly believe they would prepare for a great nursing career in the United States Air Force. They have provided me the opportunity to care my fellow service members returning from various combat zones and many retired service members as well,” said TSgt Derrick Bailey. “I am greatly appreciative that the USAF and USF have provided me with this opportunity to accomplish my goal of becoming a nurse.”
The USF College of Nursing is Transforming Health, Transforming Lives: Creating the Nursing Leaders of Tomorrow and the Research that Improves Health.