ALBANY, NY – May 9, 2019: Dustin Klotz, a Maria College associate degree in nursing (ADN) student and US Navy veteran, was selected to receive the 2019 Vanguard Award by the New York State Nontraditional Employment & Training Program (NET). The Vanguard Student Award recognizes outstanding students who are enrolled in programs that are not traditional for their gender. Only eight students are selected each year for vanguard awards from across New York State.
In the essay, required for all nominees, Dustin reflected on his reasons for entering the nursing profession. He served in the Navy for eight years and was stationed in Iraq as a combat hospital corpsman. Through his service and role as hospital corpsman, Dustin fulfilled his passion to help others. Hospital corpsmen serve in a wide variety of medical capacities and operational environments. When he returned from active duty, Klotz decided to pursue a degree in nursing and enrolled at Maria College for the Fall 2016 semester.
While nursing is largely dominated by female professionals, a stark contrast to his experience as a Navy hospital corpsman, he feels that he has adjusted very well thanks to the mentoring he has received at Maria College. When asked what he would say to other men thinking about a nursing career, Dustin stated, “If it’s something that you feel you’re good at, then it’s important to pursue your passions and pursue what you most want to do in life.”