Lacy Failla stands on a hedge-lined sidewalk in a park

Recent nursing graduate joins U.S. Navy Nurse Corps

Class of August 2020 College of Nursing graduate earns National Defense Service Medal and begins nurse residency program at U.S. Naval Medical Center
April 13, 2021

Lacy Failla, BSN, RN, knew she wanted to challenge herself after graduating in August 2020 from the Texas A&M University College of Nursing. Applying to join the United States Navy Nurse Corps provided an opportunity to do just that.

“I have lived in the College Station area my whole life close to family, and although I loved every bit of it and it will always be my home, I wanted to challenge myself and be more independent for a little while,” Failla said. “I looked into several ways to do that, and knew it would be a great honor to serve in the military, and provide quality health care to the men and women who serve our country as well as their families.”

The U.S. Navy Nurse Candidate Program offers graduates an avenue to serve on active duty for at least four years. In return, they receive a stipend that helps offset the investment made to earn a bachelor of science in nursing degree.

After her acceptance into the competitive program, Failla completed five weeks of didactic classroom instruction, sexual assault prevention and response training, officer etiquette and a 50-yard swim qualification. She also underwent intense simulation training aboard the USS Buttercup where she worked alongside classmates conducting damage control procedures to prevent ship compartment flooding and fire suppression training wearing total encapsulated Level-A Hazmat suits.

Failla joined 78 fellow graduating naval officers at the U.S. Navy Officer Development School – Officer Training Command in Newport, Rhode Island, to receive the National Defense Service Medal. Failla has now started her six-month long nurse residency program at the U.S. Naval Medical Center in San Deigo, California, where she is preparing to become a nurse on the Perinatal Specialty Care Unit. She will complete a 12-week orientation and ultimately provide care to critical antepartum patients on this specialized mother/baby unit.

When asked by Lt. Col. (ret) LeRoy Marklund, DNP, MPH, RN, CNS, CCRN, CEN, CNRN, clinical assistant professor at Texas A&M College of Nursing, how her initial U.S. Navy Nurse Corps training went, Failla replied with a smile. “I was hesitant at first about leaving home and reporting for the U.S. Navy Officer Development School in Rhode Island, but I soon realized as I ventured through military training that serving with my fellow shipmates was the most honored moment in my life.”

— Kala McCain

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