The Backbone For Learning More
Now a nursing coordinator at a Washington, D.C. clinic for people who lack health care options, Lauren Myers-Bromwell ’09 says her undergraduate education combined with two years in the Peace Corps laid the foundation for her career.
It was physics. Or something like it. That’s what deterred Lauren Myers-Bromwell ’09 from pursuing Washington College’s 3:2 program in nursing while she was an undergraduate majoring in biology.
“I just didn’t want to do it at the time,” says Myers-Bromwell. Instead, she finished her bachelor of science and then joined the Peace Corps, a decision that would take her to Uganda for two years, confirm her career track as nurse after all, and continue to inform her work and outreach to the underserved. Today, she’s a clinical nurse coordinator at Mary’s Center in Washington, D.C., a primary care and women’s health clinic that serves underinsured people, primarily Latin American immigrants.
Washington College, she says, “gave me the strong backbone for learning.” And the Peace Corps fulfilled her sense of adventure and desire to help people. “You don’t get anything monetary in return; it’s all about the experience and fulfillment.”
During her time in Uganda from 2009 to 2011, Myers-Bromwell was a health volunteer, teaching primary and secondary school students about malaria, HIV/AIDS, nutrition, and other health topics that were part of a life skills program. She also worked on a grant project to distribute mosquito netting to protect people from the ubiquitous and dangerous malaria-carrying insects. It was there that she reconsidered nursing as her career.
“I realized nursing was a really good fit for me, so when I came back, I applied to nursing schools.” With recommendations from Rosemary Ford, associate professor in biology and WAC’s nursing program advisor, and Martin Connaughton, co-chair and associate professor of biology, she applied and was accepted to George Washington University School of Nursing.
After graduating, she worked in George Washington University Hospital, advancing quickly but eventually deciding she wanted something “more fulfilling and less stressful.” So she moved to Mary’s Center, where she combines nursing and basic care like immunizations with education counseling for family planning, as well as staff coordination and administration.
“I had a wonderful education at Washington College and a really supportive faculty, especially in the sciences,” she says. “My lab work and classes really gave me the tools I needed and knowledge I needed to do health work. It gave me the strong backbone for learning more. And, I took five years of French, so part of that language learning helped me have a language brain, even now as I’m learning Spanish so I can better communicate with my patients.”