The student Soldiers completed a two-phase, 54-week training program that began at Brooke Army Medical Center, Fort Sam Houston, Texas. The classroom curriculum included anatomy and physiology, pathophysiology and microbiology. The graduates spent 1,400 clinical hours in specialty areas such as the medical-surgical unit, medical and surgical intensive care units, and the pediatric intensive care unit.
Graduates of the PNC at WRB used their knowledge of practical nurse competencies to successfully pass the National Council Licensure Examination-Practical Nurse (NCLEX-PN), according to Sgt. 1st Class Steven Brown, a course instructor for Phase II.
Students completing the course now possess the skills to provide first line trauma care on the battle field, perform as members on forward surgical teams and function in a standard support roll in combat hospitals and fixed medical facilities, Brown added.
“It’s amazing. It’s actually fantastic to be able to learn the things that I learned throughout this course,” new graduate Army Sgt. Lisa Coplen said.
Coplen added what stood out in her mind about the course was what they learned in the classrooms and that she looks forward to “putting into action the things we were taught how to do on the floor.”
She stated the course was a “great adventure and great transition” from medic to nurse, and she enjoyed learning the skills needed “to help those people heal. That’s why our motto is ‘Skills to Heal.’”
The year-long course “builds camaraderie with the nurses inside your clinicals, with the instructors and with the other students,” Coplen continued.
“Just being a nurse and learning what we did, was just an amazing thing,” Coplen emphasized.
Graduates of the course will be transferred to combat support hospitals or military medical centers. Others will return home to their reserve units and some will practice in the civilian sector. Many expressed interest in continuing their education in pursuit of nursing or physician’s assistant degrees.