Nursing alumna finding success in competitive residency in Washington, DC

UMSL Daily

Brandi Fields hopes to combine outstanding patient care in nursing with her passion for diversity and inclusion education. (Photo by LaVell D. Monger)
She had already accepted a position elsewhere last spring when Brandi Fields got the call to pack her bags: she had been admitted into the MedStar Georgetown Nurse Residency Program in oncology.
It was just two days after her interview, and the then-soon-to-be University of Missouri–St. Louis graduate was stunned to receive a call so quickly and to hear directly from a manager straight from the hospital floor.
But Fields’ story is full of surprising turns. She had wanted to be a music producer until rehab after an ACL tear piqued her interest in health care. And despite an externship and practicum in oncology, Fields had been thinking she would be an intensive care unit nurse.
That position she had accepted was with Saint Louis University Hospital’s trauma ICU program. But while interviewing, Fields had fallen in love with the newly renovated Georgetown bone marrow transplant oncology unit.
Oncology sidled onto Fields’s radar while applying to the UMSL/Barnes Jewish Hospital Summer Externship. She put down ICU and ER on her list of interests and was stumped for a third.
She noticed oncology was an option and thought of her grandmother, whose career had been working with medical documents at the University of Kansas Medical Center radiation oncology unit. When results were announced, Fields had a confirmed spot in that last-minute addition.
“Thank you, Grandma,” she said. “I think I was meant to be here.”
The externship went a long way toward healing Fields’ self-identified imposters syndrome. She also credits her faith for buoying her through self-doubt. She struggled most during fall semester of her senior year.
“Every other day I was quitting school in my head,” said Fields, relating a time she calls …

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