“I knew I wasn’t going to go the normal route of my classmates and colleagues,” says Choi, 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 left for basic training in Oklahoma in late June 2010, followed by advanced training in Texas, with the hope of working in Germany or Hawaii.
“I’m confident I can do well in the military,” she says. “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 healthcare field before even visiting Binghamton University. She spent her four years of high school volunteering at hospitals, helping nurses with office work and lab work. Choi did her clinical work at Lourdes and Wilson hospitals and Upstate Medical Center, and spent a summer as a volunteer nursing assistant at Bergen Regional Medical Center in New Jersey.
“Nurses do everything for the patient,” she says. “I feel like nursing is the job that fits my vision: It’s a job that can serve other people.”
Alison Dura, a clinical lecturer in Decker, describes 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 says. “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 was active on campus through the XCEL Center, where she worked as a public-speaking conductor, and the Korean American Baptist Student Organization (KABSO). She enjoys hiking, swimming, table tennis (a sport in which she was a high school champion) and has played piano since the age of 4.
Choi hopes to eventually receive a PhD in nursing and become involved in rural community nursing.
“Most of our Earth is rural communities,” she says. “I worry about their health. Where do they get their health care from? I feel like we should promoting care to the rural communities and building a system that will work anywhere in the U.S.”
Last Updated: 7/20/12