Britani Edwards sometimes jokes that she will just set up a cot at the hospital where she works, and where she is pursuing her clinical rotations as a nursing student.
As a student in SUNY Broome’s Evening and Weekend Nursing program, she also works full time and has clinicals every other weekend. During those stretches, she works a five-day week as director of Lourdes’ hyperbaric oxygen therapy program, does her two days of clinicals and then returns for another full work week.
It’s tough but it will ultimately be worth it, giving her more mobility in her career in years ahead.
“I keep working and supplement my education and achieve my goals at the same time,” said Edwards, now in her second year of the three-year program.
This isn’t her first stint in college; she has an Associate’s degree in Emergency Medical Technology from her home state of Michigan. That’s where she began working for a company that provides mobile hyperbaric centers as a training officer, traveling to facilities – including Lourdes in Binghamton. When Lourdes offered her a job at their own hyperbaric facility, she relocated to the area.
A nursing degree will open the door to more professional opportunities, Edwards noted, and the Evening and Weekend Program was the logical choice, allowing her to keep a job she enjoys. The majority of her two-dozen classmates work, and learn early on the importance of time management, she said.
She has found SUNY Broome’s nursing faculty and staff to be very knowledgeable and experienced, and has particularly appreciated the dedication of Professor Denisa Talovic, who also works as a nurse practitioner in the community.
“She supports us through the whole thing. She also works too, so she can relate to us,” Edwards said. “She’s offered us time late at night – a 9 p.m. Sunday study session. That’s going above and beyond for your students.”
The president of the Student Nurses Association for the Evening/Weekend Program, Edwards recently earned scholarship money through an online contest that tested her medical knowledge.
Run by the Common Knowledge Scholarship Foundation, the contest involved a series of timed online tests about a wide array of medical knowledge. Britani passed the first three tests, qualifying for the final round, which consisted of a single timed test. She won, beating out students from colleges around the country, the majority of which were four-year schools. Second and third place went to students at Temple University School of Podiatric Medicine and the Chamberlain College of Nursing, making the win by a community college student even more exceptional.
Looking ahead, Edwards isn’t exactly sure what shape her future will take; she is still garnering experience in different specialties through her clinicals. However, the ICU and the emergency room are draws – not surprising, considering her training in critical acute care.
Why emergency medicine? “I like something different every day. It’s not repetitive, and I stay cool under pressure,” she explained.