Rosemary Martinez, a nursing student and National Guard soldier, selflessly serves others in many aspects of her life.

Nursing student, soldier applies passion for serving others

Martinez plans to earn her master’s degree to combat human trafficking
May 9, 2019

For Rosemary Martinez, a passion for serving others is more than a catch phrase; it’s the guiding principle that motivates her to give every day her all.

A desire for serving others has led Martinez, a soldier in the National Guard, to pursue a bachelor’s degree in nursing from the Texas A&M College of Nursing.

Changing focus

Martinez graduated from Texas A&M with a bachelor’s degree in psychology in 2010. She wanted to earn her doctorate and looked to the military to help her achieve her goal, a decision she doesn’t regret.

“In my decision to enlist, I have had so many blessings. Not just from school money, but I learned about discipline, goal setting, having a purpose and, ultimately, serving others,” she said.

During her visit at an Army recruiting office, Martinez’s recruiter suggested a military occupation specialty (MOS) in the medical field instead of psychology.

“I had a straightforward conversation with the recruited,” she said. “The recruiter told me, ‘You know psychology, so why not try for something different, like medic?’ I thought about it for like two seconds and agreed.

“My best assignments have been the ones I just said ‘yes’ to.”

Teaching nursing skills

After four years of service in the Army, Martinez had a child and decided to transition to the National Guard. Now a sergeant, Martinez serves as a Health Care Specialist, training medics for her company and others.

“This role allows me to practice and teach the skills I’m learning in nursing school at Texas A&M to the medics I work with,” she said. “I instill in them what we sometimes lack in the field, such as hand hygiene, patient safety, patient privacy and professionalism.”

Serving others

For Martinez, the values instilled in her by the Army and as a student at Texas A&M are the driving force of how she treats people and patients.

“The value I practice the most often is selfless service,” Martinez said. “Serving others can be something as little as an encouragement of uplifting my classmates or as big as giving up my time and money to those that need it.”

She also began volunteering as a mentor to teenage girls for Save Our Streets Ministries earlier in 2019.

“I serve as a spiritual youth leader to young women from the ages of 12 to 18,” she said. “I serve others as though I am serving God himself. Some days I come up short but most days I succeed.”

People in your corner

“When you tackle a task like nursing school, you have to have people in your corner to take you to the next step,” Martinez said. “The faculty and staff really care about students’ well-being and truly believe we can succeed.”

Martinez says she appreciates the assistance from the College of Nursing faculty and staff in helping her navigate nursing school. “They made me feel welcome and a part of the Aggie community,” she said.

So far, Martinez has only missed one clinical due to her military responsibilities. However, the faculty has worked with her to make it up. Martinez specifically mentioned Michael Hutton, a clinical assistant professor who served 20 years in the Air Force, as one of the faculty members who assists her with making up missed work.

“Professor Hutton has been amazing in helping me figure out a plan of action to complete any missed days,” Martinez said. “He has been gracious in allowing me to find the best day for me to make up the clinical I missed.”

Looking ahead

After earning her bachelor’s degree in nursing, Martinez wants to earn her master’s in Forensic Nursing. She said she wants to apply her nursing degrees to combat human trafficking.

“I read an article from Texas A&M that detailed human trafficking,” she said. Martinez did some of her own research, making her realize “this happens in our neighborhoods and in our own backyards. I want to learn how to combat human trafficking as a citizen until I am called as a nurse to combat it in that manner,” she said. “I am looking to join an organization that provides resources for those who are victims of human trafficking.”

Along with being a nurse, Martinez says she wants to continue serving in the military.

“I love the Army,” she said. “Serving is what has given me the ability to balance and navigate this schedule with such confidence.”

— Leslie Cockrell

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