Kimberly Carson

Kimberly Carson (RN-BSN Online ’11), BSN, RN
Nursing Supervisor at Grays Harbor County Public Health and Social Services

Why did you choose nursing as a profession?

I don’t believe I chose nursing, I believe nursing chose me. I don’t remember ever wanting to be anything but a nurse since a very young age.

How did WSU prepare you for your career?

Well, I was 46 when I returned to school, and pretty well in my career. I believe what it did was re-energize my brain and allow me to grow into a better supervisor, gaining leadership skills that I would not have gotten otherwise. It also taught me a lot about research and evidenced-based practice that I have been able to incorporate into my daily work.

What do you love about WSU College of Nursing?

The Cougar spirit. The feeling of pride and the exceptional quality that every instructor possessed. They also really appreciated my Public Health background. I was worried that being out of “hospital” nursing for so long would be frowned upon, but they made me realize that I had valuable experience that I could share with my classmates.

Tell us a little bit about your career, what you are doing, and where you work.

This month I begin my 25th year at Grays Harbor County Public Health Department in Aberdeen, Washington where I began as a Public Health Nurse. I have worked in every Public Health program from Home Visiting, to Breast and Cervical Health, to Family Planning, Immunizations, Communicable Disease, to WIC to HIV. You name it, I’ve done it. Since 1997 I have been the Nursing Supervisor of clinical services and continue to this day to spend time delivering direct clinical services to clients along with supervision of all the Public Health programs.

Who is your favorite faculty and why?

Mary Stucky. She is amazing. She was eagerly pushing me and guiding me and my unique situation right from the beginning. I looked to her often to guide me in my journey through the program. I am an extremely organized person, and she made me feel confident in the path that she laid out for me to obtain my BSN.

What advice would you give to new nursing students just starting at the college?

Get your BSN. Be organized, be serious, and stay focused. Life goes by so fast and to spend your time learning a lifelong profession such as nursing will give you many years of joy. Also, school will only teach you so much, the rest is experience and learning on the job. You can’t know it all when you graduate. Also, learn how to be a critical thinker. Don’t just learn the text books. Learn the subject, the way things all inter-relate.

What is your dream nursing job?

I’m doing it. Really, Public Health and working as I call “upstream” in preventive medicine. We too all are trying to keep people from complications of Heart Disease, or Diabetes, when if we can start with a mother having a healthy pregnancy, that leads to a healthy birth, to a healthy childhood, to adolescence to adult, that is where we can make the difference.

How has your nursing career changed or influenced your life?

I believe it has made me a more empathic person and understand the importance of positive roles models are in people’s lives. I also believe the WSU RN to BSN course has made me become a better leader and have more self confidence in myself.

Using a few words or short phrases, describe what makes a Cougar nurse.

Determined, proud, empathetic, leader.