Rachel Corvino, a clinical research recruiter with Palmetto Primary Care Physicians, started her nursing career about two years ago on the orthopedics/neuroscience floor of Trident Medical Center. Recently, when an opportunity arose, she moved over to research – and she hasn’t looked back.“The aspects I enjoy most about my position as a research recruiter are learning about the cutting-edge medications and treatments that will be able to help so many people, being able to assess patients to see if they would be good candidates for studies and then being able to educate patients about the studies and the new treatment options that the studies would provide,” she said.Although new to the field, she would advise aspiring nurses never to be afraid to seek out and explore different specialties.“Nursing is such a diverse field, and there are many great avenues you can follow. Also, never be afraid to ask questions and keep a love for learning. Never become complacent with your knowledge,” she concluded.
Susan Brannock did not go to college to become a nurse, even though that career path was always in the back of her mind. She actually earned a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from Charleston Southern University.She got a job working at a local hospital right out of college. Later, she took some time off to have a child and then decided it was time to enroll in nursing school. She entered the nursing program at Trident Technical College and volunteered at a hospice agency. Her goal at that time was to work in a nursing home because she felt geriatrics was her calling. She obtained her first job at the Village of Summerville, working in the clinic that cared for assisted living and independent residents.“I fell in love with the people and enjoyed many wonderful interactions,” she said.She later moved on to to a job with Palmetto Primary Care Physicians and has found a new love for working with all ages – from newborns to senior citizens.“I am now getting to watch babies grow up and give them vaccinations,” she said. “And I still get to help older folks with their needs, not to mention every age in between. I never have a dull day.”
Shannon Wickersham said she initially pursued a career in the primary care setting as a nurse because it was more conducive for her family and their activities. But it didn’t take long before she realized that it was actually a true calling and her passion.“Working in primary care is one of the most rewarding things I have ever done,” she said. “I thoroughly enjoy working with patients of all ages, during all different times of their lives, in sickness and in health.”She graduated from Roper Hospital School of Practical Nursing in 2001 and began working on a medical surgical unit in the hospital setting. She remained in that position for 10 years.She now works in the Palmetto Primary Care Physicians Summerville office. She is a married mother of four daughters and she hopes she can be an inspiration to them, just as her mother was to her.“My mother, who is also a nurse, was my inspiration,” she said. “She encouraged me to pursue a nursing career. I became a nurse because I love helping others and I genuinely care.”Her advice to aspiring nurses is to work hard, ask questions and don’t get discouraged.“This is one of the most rewarding professions. Do not give up. Strive to make a difference every day,” she concluded.
CHRISTINA J. KETRON
DNP, MSN, RN
Dr. Christina J. Ketron originally planned a career in public health while attending East Tennessee State University. She soon realized that more patient interaction was what she craved.When she obtained her public health degree, she immediately went back to school to follow her dream of being a nurse. Her first seven years in the nursing field were spent in a medical intensive care unit.She has been a nursing instructor for the last five years, with the last year-and-a-half at MUSC. She finished her doctorate of nursing in psych mental health this May.“I chose the psych mental health focus because I saw how important it was to treat the whole patient, regardless of their diagnosis. When we don’t address mental health, often the physical health will not fully improve,” she said.Her advice to nurses new to the field?“Never be afraid to ask questions; doing so improves the nurses’ critical reasoning, helps them advocate for patient care and fosters research and scholarship within the profession.”