Commencement 2018 profile: Julien Deshler

Decker student will earn his second bachelor's degree from Binghamton University

Julien Deshler completed an accelerated track program in the Decker School of Nursing and will earn a bachelor of science degree in nursing in May. Image Credit: Jonathan Cohen.
Julien Deshler completed an accelerated track program in the Decker School of Nursing and will earn a bachelor of science degree in nursing in May.
Julien Deshler completed an accelerated track program in the Decker School of Nursing and will earn a bachelor of science degree in nursing in May. Photography: Jonathan Cohen.

This year’s Commencement will be the end of one stage of life and the beginning of a new one, but it won’t be new territory for Julien Deshler. The stage will seem all too familiar for the Decker School of Nursing student, who already holds one bachelor’s degree.

Deshler, a baccalaureate accelerated track (BAT) student, received his bachelor of science in integrative neuroscience from Harpur College in 2015. The Binghamton alumnus considered becoming a physician’s assistant and even applying to medical school before realizing neither was the right choice for him.

“I found myself feeling very spiritually lost as I was considering applying to both of those,” Deshler says.

Instead, he decided to become a registered nurse, and went back to school to get his bachelor’s degree in nursing. But, Deshler admits, the accelerated program can be difficult.

“There were periods of the program where I didn’t have time for anything,” Deshler says. “It’s definitely a challenge, but it’s actually very doable.”

Deshler says his path to nursing wasn’t straightforward. In fact, he came to campus intending to major in economics. However, in the spring of his freshman year, he sought a way to connect with the campus community, looking for something interesting, different, meaningful and exciting. Deshler soon found himself at Harpur’s Ferry (Binghamton University’s student-run ambulance service), which stuck out to him as a powerful way to get involved. The rest is history.

“I suddenly found myself spending all my time there,” Deshler says. “A lot of it is very adrenaline-heavy, and it’s almost addictive in nature.”

Deshler joined Harpur’s Ferry in spring 2012 and has been a member ever since. The work he has done led him to the decision to enter healthcare. He considered different kinds of healthcare professions, but eventually chose nursing.

“Nursing is more about building relationships with patients than other medical professions, and I really appreciate that aspect of it,” Deshler says. “It’s a much more intimate relationship and perspective.”

Deshler completed his capstone in the cardiovascular intensive care unit at UHS Wilson Medical Center and has been doing clinical rotations. His duties involve assessing changes in his patients’ condition, administering medications through multiple drip channels, ensuring the proper functioning of a variety of cardiac life-support equipment and advocating for his patients.

Deshler says one of the hardest parts of his nursing program was trying to understand the role of a nurse on a healthcare team.

“There were a lot of points in the program where I felt very lost,” Deshler says.

But he’s found himself now.

Deshler says being present in the client-nurse relationship is very important, and that he takes the time each day to remind himself why he chose to be a nurse and to incorporate that into the care of every patient.

He also worked in the President’s Office as a student assistant to Binghamton University President Harvey Stenger where his job involved miscellaneous tasks like delivering mail, answering the phone and welcoming guests.

“Julien has been an assistant in the President’s Office for several years,” Stenger writes. “He brings professionalism, friendliness and caring to his work at all times. Julien makes both visitors and the office staff feel welcome, happy and calm when he is at the desk!”

Deshler also calls Decker School donors to thank them for their support.

“They’re surprised when I don’t ask them for further donations,” Deshler says. “I think the donors become much more comfortable when they realize the purpose of the phone calls is offering thanks to those who’ve supported me and my class.”

The Decker student also contacts future BAT students and offers himself as a resource to answer any questions they have about the program. He says he wishes he had someone like that when he was starting, and that’s why he chooses to reach out.

“Julien has done a terrific job making our incoming students feel more comfortable about what to really expect as a BAT student,” says Sara Wozniak, assistant dean for enrollment and student success at the Decker School.

After graduation, Deshler must take his nurse licensure exam. He has already started studying for it and answers between 50 and 100 practice questions each day. Although he was offered positions in Chapel Hill, N.C., and Nashville,Tenn., he intends to work as a registered nurse in New York City.

“I’ve had many career interests, but always found myself gravitating back to healthcare,” Deshler says. “I’ve been given so many opportunities in my life, and I can’t help but feel incredibly honored to do the work that I do in serving as a catalyst for change and health in the lives of others.”

Posted in: Campus News, Decker