INSIDE BINGHAMTON UNIVERSITY
Student to take love of nursing to Army
Christine Choi’s career path will likely be different than her Decker School of Nursing classmates when she graduates in May.
Choi has decided to forego work at a traditional hospital or health-care facility to join the Army Nurse Corps as a nurse officer.
“I knew I wasn’t going to go the normal route of my classmates and colleagues,” said Choi, a 22-year-old from Leonia, N.J. “I want to be someone who can serve the nation while serving the patient. … I want a different experience. I’ve been in hospitals for many years and I’m still young.”
Choi learned about the Army branch through an Internet ad and met a recruiter in New York City. She passed a physical and an oral proficiency exam, as Choi also speaks Korean and Chinese. She will leave for basic training in Oklahoma in late June 2010, followed by advanced training in Texas. From there, she hopes to work in Germany or Hawaii.
“I’m confident I can do well in the military,” she said. “I know it’s a different environment and a different lifestyle. But I want to challenge myself. It’s something I can learn from.”
Choi was learning about the health-care field even before visiting Binghamton University. She spent her four years of high school volunteering at hospitals, helping nurses with office work and lab work. Choi has done her clinical work at Lourdes and Wilson hospitals and Upstate Medical University, and spent last summer as a volunteer nursing assistant at Bergen Regional Medical Center in New Jersey.
Alison Dura, a clinical lecturer in Decker, described Choi as “a determined young woman who absolutely wants to absorb information and use it in her practice.”
“She has worked so hard to maximize her growth,” she said. “I see her choice of the Army Nurse Corps as another example of broadening her knowledge and experience, despite the rigors and challenges that it will present for her.”
Choi has been active on campus through the XCEL Center, where she has worked as a public-speaking conductor, and the Korean American Baptist Student Organization (KABSO). She enjoys hiking, swimming, table tennis (a sport in which Choi was a high school champion) and has played piano since the age of 4.
Choi hopes to pursue a PhD in nursing and become involved in rural community nursing.
“Most of our Earth is rural communities,” she said. “I worry about their health. Where do they get their health care from? I feel like we should be promoting care to the rural communities and building a system that will work anywhere in the U.S.”