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DVIDS – News – Naval Hospital Bremerton Develops Leaders: One Sailor’s Journey to Commissioning

Hard work, sacrifice and dedication to service for the last eight years, from ship to shore, has a Naval Hospital Bremerton Sailor achieving a goal she set for herself the day she enlisted in the U.S. Navy

Hospital Corpsman 1st Class Dhana McKinney has been selected in the Medical Enlisted Commissioning Program (MECP) leading to a commission as a Navy Nurse Corps officer.

The MECP program is Navy Medicine’s pathway to that commission. It’s available to enlisted active duty Sailors and Marines, giving those selected an opportunity to earn an entry-level bachelor’s degree in nursing.

“It felt like I was dreaming,” said McKinney, NHB’s Directorate of Nursing Services leading petty officer. “It’s something I’ve wanted for the longest time and to finally see my name on that list feels surreal. I am very thankful. It’s a reflection of all my hard work and sacrifice paying off. Days staying late, nights and weekends going to school, it was all worth it.”

McKinney, from New York City and graduate of Susan E. Wagoner High School, joined the Navy in July 2011 knowing she wanted to be a part of Navy Medicine.

“One of the reasons I joined the Navy was to get the opportunity to meet different people and travel around the world,” she said. “I felt like gaining a broader experience would make me a more well-rounded person. I wanted to be a nurse prior to joining. My recruiter briefly talked about MECP and suggested I join as a hospital corpsman to get the enlisted experience. He mentioned it would help me become a better Sailor and leader.”

Already in her Navy career, McKinney said has been able to accomplish more than she imagined she could.

“My first big accomplishment was making Blue Jacket of the Year at my first command. It was a huge deal to me because I was shy and not very confident,” said McKinney. “But I really wanted to go to sea duty and gain more hands-on experience. Getting orders to a destroyer was another huge accomplishment for me.”

She said being assigned to the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Porter (DDG 78), a forward-deployed Naval Forces-Europe ship with one of the Navy’s highest tempos, helped her hone her skills as a hospital corpsman.

“Being one of three corpsman aboard a destroyer made me learn a lot,” said McKinney. “It was a heavy work load. We were responsible for programs such as hearing conservation, heat stress, sight conservation, medical administration, preventative medicine and medical readiness… just to name a few. The things you would normally have a specialty for, we had to step up and fill that void.”

On top of doing all her duties as a corpsman, Mckinney also took on medical training team lead, maintenance and material management assessor for the ship’s administration department, got qualified as officer of the deck, and participated in maritime exercises with partnered and allied nations.

After leaving the ship, McKinney completed a tour with Field Medical Training Battalion and arrived at NHB in January of this year. After arriving, her strong work ethic was immediately displayed.

“McKinney is a top notch Sailor and a vital member of Naval Hospital Bremerton,” said Senior Chief Hospital Corpsman Romualdo Humarang Jr., NHB’s Directorate of Nursing Services leading chief petty officer. “She has a strong work ethic evidenced by her refusal to back down from any challenges. An intelligent and compassionate Sailor with great foresight who is ready to take on the challenges of MECP.”

McKinney was also selected as NHB’s Senior Sailor of the Quarter (SSOQ) for the fourth quarter of fiscal year 2019. McKinney hopes all her Sailors will see her accomplishments and realize what you can do if you put the work in.

“They see how much I work, how late I stay,” said McKinney. “I have a lot of junior Sailors, straight out of A school (where they learn the fundamentals of their job as a corpsman) and very impressionable, who have seen me get nominated as SSOQ and ask me about MECP. I want them to see though my actions that if you put your mind to what you really want to do you can accomplish your dreams.”

McKinney will start her schooling in the fall where she will be required to complete her degree in 36 months while maintaining a GPA of 2.50 or greater. While in school she will remain on active duty.

Upon completion, McKinney will receive an appointment as an ensign in the Nurse Corps.

NHB supports more than 60,000 military families in West Puget Sound, shaping military medicine through training, mentoring and research to ensure a ready medical force and operationally ready force.

Date Taken: 11.15.2019
Date Posted: 11.16.2019 22:27
Story ID: 352052
Location: BREMERTON , WA, US 

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