We couldn’t be more proud of our VCU School of Nursing alumni who are working all over the world to keep our community and families safe and healthy.  Meet Elizabeth Hoettels (B.S.’05/N), who has been serving our country as a commander in the Air Force for the 423 Medical Squadron at the Limited Scope Medical Treatment Facility located at the Royal Air Force Base in Alconbury, UK. We are so grateful for her service to our country! 

Q. How has your VCU School of Nursing education prepared you for your work as a nurse, particularly in situations such as the COVID-19 pandemic? 

A. Some of the most valuable lessons I learned in nursing school which I use every day during this pandemic were from my leadership course.  Leadership is crucial in health care; to be successful you must be able to work as a team – every last person on the team is invaluable whether they are the provider or housekeeper.  Communicating and collaborating is essential to ensure your team is able to provide optimal care for patients.  

Q. What do you enjoy most about being a nurse? 

A. I have had the privilege to care for America’s heroes as a critical care and trauma nurse and now as a commander.  I love the challenge of being able to fly a critical care patient at 37,000 feet, setting up an OR in a building of opportunity in the desert, and now have the honor of leading an entire team of doctors, nurses, dentists, administrative and support personnel who work together to support military forces.  

Q. Can you share any words of encouragement or advice to current and future nurses? 

A. Be brave.  Be bold.  Be authentic.  Don’t be afraid to step up and lead, especially during times of uncertainty like these.  Also, do not forget to take a knee when you need a break.  You have what it takes I promise – you’re a nurse! 

If you are interested in being featured as a part of our Moments of Pride, please share your nursing experiences with us via this form and a member of our development team will be in touch with you.

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Categories Alumni and Friends, Moments of Pride
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