Student Profiles

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Image of CPT Thurayya C. Gillis, AN, SRNA

CPT Thurayya C. Gillis, AN, SRNA

CPT Thurayya C. Gillis, AN, SRNA

The pursuit of education and travel opportunities encouraged me to join the Army. I enlisted as a Finance Specialist in January 1992. I served in Korea, Germany and Washington, DC as an enlisted soldier, all the while attending college. In March 1997, I was selected for the Army Enlisted Commissioning Program (AECP) Scholarship and received a free education at George Mason University. I earned a BSN in May 1999 and was commissioned in the Army Nurse Corps in September 1999. During OBC I decided I wanted to become a 66F, at the time I was not convicted of my decision.

My first assignment as an officer was at WRAMC in Washington, DC where I worked as a Surgical Nurse on Ward 65. I attended the Critical Care Course at WRAMC in March 2001 and was later assigned to the SICU/TICU. I deployed from February – June 2003 with the 86th CSH to Iraq in support of OIF/OEF. Taking care of those soldiers and civilians brought out the essence of Army Nursing.

After returning from Iraq, I was reassigned to Moncrief ACH at Ft. Jackson. My role there allowed me to be face to face with Perioperative Services on a daily basis. The time had come for me to put up or shut up. I applied for the scholarship to attend USAGPAN and was granted the opportunity. Every day in this environment is both challenging and rewarding. Nevertheless, I get to do what I love the most in the world which is providing quality care to our retirees, soldiers and their family members. My dreams have come full circle. I have had the opportunity to obtain an education, travel abroad, and make a difference one day at a time.

Image of CPT Jason Washington, AN, SRNA

CPT Jason Washington, AN, SRNA

CPT Jason Washington, AN, SRNA

I enlisted in the military in 1995. Upon completion of boot camp and advanced training, my specialty was Hospital Corpsman with a subspecialty as a Surgical Technologist. While training to become a Surgical Technologist, I became aware of nurse anesthetists and was drawn to the profession as I worked with them in the operating room. I appreciate the intense focus of the practice of anesthesia. I realize that I need a career that will be forever evolving and constantly challenging. I am committed to becoming a nurse anesthetist and that has been the driving force behind my nursing career. I applied for a commissioning program and after being selected, I attended Hampton University. I graduated and was commissioned in 2002. After my commissioning, I reported for duty at Naval Medical Center Portsmouth. As a registered nurse, I worked on the General Surgery Ward and the Intensive Care Unit. After researching the anesthesia programs, I decided to do an interservice transfer into the Army and apply to the U.S. Army Program in Anesthesia Nursing. The program has been challenging and gratifying. The decision to join the Army continues to be solidified as I work toward fulfilling my dream.

Image of MAJ William S. Jacobs, AN, SRNA

MAJ William S. Jacobs, AN, SRNA

MAJ William S. Jacobs, AN, SRNA

I started my career in the Army straight out of high school. I was awarded a four year ROTC nursing scholarship. After graduation I arrived at my first duty station as a brand new 66H medical-surgical nurse at Fort Sill, Oklahoma. I developed my basic nursing skills working with medical-surgical and same-day surgery patients. During this time I had the opportunity to visit the operating room and decided that was where I wanted to be. While spending time in the operating room, I was first introduced to Nursing Anesthesia. Shortly after, I attended the Perioperative Nursing course at William Beaumont Army Medical Center, Fort Bliss, Texas and returned to the operating room at Reynolds Army Community Hospital, Fort Sill as a 66E. After two years and learning more about the role of the CRNA I decided that someday I was going to become a CRNA. From there, I was reassigned to the 2nd Forward Surgical Team (FST) at beautiful Fort Carson, Colorado. I was part of standing up a new unit from a name on paper to a fully functioning, rapidly deployable surgical team. With FST, I traveled to Miami, Florida, for surgical trauma training center. I worked hand in hand with my CRNA counterparts and my desire to become a CRNA grew. During this time, the Army Nures Corps also allowed me to be one of the first Army Nurses to attend and complete a one year internship as a Registered Nurse First-Assistant. Soon I found myself as the Executive officer of the FST and deployed with Special Forces just prior to OIF 1. Here I was able to see the autonomy and the expertise of the military CRNA’s working as sole anesthesia providers in the some of the most austere environments. Soon after returning home I moved to San Antonio, Texas, Brooke Army Medical Center and volunteered to deploy again for another year, this time with the 31st Combat Support Hospial to Bagdad, Iraq. During this year my fortitude was tested time and again seeing young American soldiers broken and battered by war. This experience drove home my desire to become a CRNA. The skills, expertise, knowledge, and life-saving abilities demonstrated by the CRNA’s were amazing and there I made the decision to apply to school.

After returning home, I applied to the Army Anesthesia program, with the hope that I had what it took to make it. After selection, I began my academic phase I of the program in San Antonio and after completion traveled back to WBAMC to begin my clinical phase II training. Many military CRNA’s say going through the program is the hardest thing they have ever done…but they all say that it was definitely worth it.