V-CARE Spotlight On: Sharon Resto, APRN, WHNP-BC, Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner
Since its inception, the USF Health College of Nursing’s V-CARE pathway has graduated hundreds of student veterans from all branches of the military. Known for its veteran-friendly support system, the College of Nursing’s V-CARE pathway is a bridge between military experience and a bachelor’s degree in nursing.
V-CARE alumni are sharing updates on where they are now and how their time at USF got them there.
What brought you to the USF V-CARE pathway?
I wanted to continue my mother’s legacy as a nurse. I was shocked when I got into the program. V-CARE was an answered prayer. It has opened up so many doors for me and truly taught me that nothing is impossible. This definitely became evident once I went to graduate school. Many members of my cohort dropped out. When I felt like quitting, I would reflect back on my V-CARE journey and remind myself that I am of a different caliber so anything less than success was not an option.
What did you like best about the program?
As a former Army medic, it was great to finally be involved in a program that actually found my Army skills valuable. I also loved the fact that they were always looking for ways to improve the program. Dr. Rossiter valued our input and empowered us every step of the way. While it seemed like we were in the thick of it forever, the program was complete in the blink of an eye.
What did you do after graduation?
After graduating in 2015 with a bachelor’s in nursing, I went to work for Tampa General Hospital as a labor and delivery nurse. I worked there for close to 3 years before transitioning to Baycare and enrolling in graduate school at Georgetown University. I graduated in 2020 with a master’s in nursing and became a women’s health nurse practitioner.
What type of nursing do you do now and how are you continuing to use what you learned at USF?
By day, I work in a Holistic Medicine practice where I get to empower and educate my patients on the root cause of their various health issues. The focus is not to medicate my patients but to restore them to optimal health.
By night, I work as an on-call Sexual Assault Examiner. People always say “Oh that’s such a sad job. I don’t know how you do it.” Honestly, it is tough but it is the greatest job in the world. I get the opportunity to assist these survivors of assault in getting the justice that they deserve. I give them their voice back when their world is turned upside down.
Is there anything else you would like to update your fellow Bull Nurses about?
Never settle for anything less than your best! Listen to your ambitions and always seek out opportunities to advance your career. Throughout the ups and downs of the past 5 years, I have no regrets in my career. Nursing is truly ingrained in every fiber of my being. To be a nurse (now nurse practitioner) is an honor as you get to be in the service of others. I take that honor very seriously. Bull Nurses are nothing short of extraordinary!
Story by Elizabeth L. Brown, USF College of Nursing