Erin Smith knew fairly early on that caring for others would be in her professional future. When her grandmother was diagnosed with ovarian cancer, Erin, in high school at the time, was involved in her care.
Erin is in the Integrated Nursing Pathway to Baccalaureate program, a partnership with the Community College of Aurora that enables qualified students to apply their associate’s degree to the College of Nursing without having to reapply. Erin will begin her studies at the College of Nursing in summer 2012.
An Air Force reservist, she reports to Colorado Springs twice a month and is already a qualified flight medic with an EMT certificate.
“I was ready to go back to college when the Integrated Nursing Pathway opportunity came up, so the timing was perfect,” says Erin, who hopes to become a commissioned officer in the Air Force.
Last year Erin was on a crew of three flight nurses and four flight medics who transported 55 patients—with conditions ranging from breast cancer to battle wounds—from Ramstein Air Base in Germany to Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland.
Erin is interested in trauma and critical care, and is considering a career as a flight nurse. But for now, she says, “I’m focused on getting my bachelor’s degree.”