With a nursing degree from Johns Hopkins, Justin Bilik ’10 cares for patients undergoing kidney, liver, pancreas and hand transplants on the Comprehensive Transplant Unit at Johns Hopkins Hospital.
“I’ve always wanted to be in the medical field. I wasn’t interested in becoming a doctor because of the time commitment and years of schooling – so I discovered nursing was a perfect fit for me,” recalls Bilik, who majored in biology with a minor in Spanish.
“I went into college knowing that I wanted to explore this route; I knew I didn’t want to go straight to nursing school from high school,” he says. During his time at Washington College, Justin augmented his academic studies with music; he played the oboe in the classical quartet, took private lessons and participated in music recitals.
“I have great memories of all the professors at Washington College,” says Justin. “In my junior year, I worked for Dr. Rosemary Ford as her lab assistant. The College really helped prepare me for nursing school.”
Justin began interning at Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Lab in Laurel, MD, after his sophomore year. As a research assistant, he interned for two summers and one winter. Through a government program, he studied the effects of blast waves on the brain with the goal of addressing war-related injuries.
“The first year of nursing school went by very fast. The program presents an incredible amount of information in a short amount of time,” recalls Justin. At the conclusion of that first year, Justin received his Certified Nurse Assistant (CNA) credential and was hired to in the comprehensive Transplant Unit at Johns Hopkins Medical Center, working with liver and kidney transplant patients who require acute care.
In his second year–a practicum–Justin was assigned to one nurse at Anne Arundel Medical Center. “It was a great experience,” say Justin. As a Registered Nurse, Justin returned to the transplant unit where he works closely with a preceptor who mentors the young nurse. In the not too distant future, Justin plans to become a nurse practitioner, possibly specializing in cardiac telemetry, research or geriatrics.
“I chose nursing because I want to help people. I love where I’m working; it’s an amazing place and the staff is so accepting of new people like me.”
- Majors: Biology