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Two WSU nurse cadets take top honors at ROTC summer training

Photo of marching regiment
The 10th Regiment Advanced Camp of ROTC Cadet Summer Training at Fort Knox, Kentucky. Photo by Amber Vincent.

 

Two ROTC nurse cadets from the WSU College of Nursing took top honors at Cadet Summer Training in Kentucky.

Koby Binks, BSN ’17, and Candace Madriaga, a junior in the nursing program, were both honored with the Norton Healthcare Award during different sessions of the summer training program. The Norton Award is given to the nurse cadet who best demonstrates the ability to perform under stress and to apply critical thinking skills when making decisions.

(Left) Cadet Koby Binks, an ROTC graduate of the WSU College of Nursing, receives the Norton Healthcare Award for nurse cadets at Cadet Summer Training. Photo by Mattie Cook. (Right) Candace Madriaga, an ROTC student at the WSU College of Nursing, was honored with the Norton Healthcare Award at Cadet Summer Training. Photo by Madison Thompson.

 

Both Binks and Madriaga entered the WSU College of Nursing from Eastern Washington University’s ROTC program. The College of Nursing reserves seats in each new class for Army ROTC nurses from WSU and EWU.

Binks said the lessons he learned at the WSU College of Nursing helped him help his platoon during the month-long summer training program at Fort Knox.

He told them, “Let’s talk about how important it is to change socks” as they went through training exercises in 95-degree heat with 100 percent humidity, he said. “I talked about the science of electrolytes, I talked about hydration and what that means to the body,” said Binks, 28.

After completing a nine-week Basic Officer Leadership Course, Binks hopes to work in Spokane and fulfill his military service through the Army Reserves.

Madriaga, 22, said she’s “97 percent certain” she’ll become active-duty military after she graduates from the College of Nursing.

“I want to care for those who are fighting for our country,” she said.

Some 8,200 cadets went through basic and advanced camp at Fort Knox this summer, events designed to help ROTC cadets improve their skills and leadership qualities.

WSU nursing students who are ROTC cadets training in Germany

WSU College of Nursing students Nick Castro, left, and Brianne Harder, right, with 2016 College of Nursing grad, 2nd Lt. Jaclyn Sison at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany.
WSU College of Nursing students Nick Castro, left, and Brianne Harder, right, with 2016 College of Nursing grad, 2nd Lt. Jaclyn Sison at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany.
WSU College of Nursing students Nick Castro, left, and Brianne Harder, right, with 2016 College of Nursing grad, 2nd Lt. Jaclyn Sison at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany.

 

What did you do during summer break?

WSU College of Nursing students Brianne Harder and Nick Castro worked in the largest military hospital outside the United States – Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany – learning clinical skills and getting an idea of the responsibilities they’ll take on as Army Nurse Corps Officers.

Harder and Castro are ROTC cadets. After they graduate from the College of Nursing in May they’ll be commissioned as 2nd Lieutenants in the U.S. Army, where both envision careers as Army nurses.

They were chosen to participate in the month-long Nurse Summer Training Program at Landstuhl with cadets from around the country. They work with preceptors on 12-hour shifts, Harder in labor and delivery and Castro in the ICU. One of their mentors at Landstuhl is 2nd Lt. Jaclyn Sison, a 2016 BSN graduate from the WSU College of Nursing. All the cadets will produce a group project at the end of the internship. “Then we can spend the rest of our time traveling and seeing Germany,” Harder said via email.

After they’re commissioned and pass the NCLEX exam, they’ll be sent to Fort Sam Houston in Texas for the Army’s Basic Officer Leader Course. They’ll work for two years in Med/Surg before moving on to their specialties of choice – ICU for Castro and either Peds or ER for Harder.

Both Harder and Castro said being involved in ROTC has been gratifying.

Said Castro, “ROTC has provided me with opportunities to grow as a person and as a future nurse for the United States Army.”