Student nurse’s journey inspired by leadership role in college athletics

Mabra trades courtside for bedside as she plans future in nursing
courtdawgCourtney Marbra, fourth semester University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) School of Nursing BSN student from Jackson, Miss., always thought she wanted to be a professional basketball player.

However, her talent did not come effortlessly. Courtney first picked up a basketball in third grade when her friend asked her to join her basketball team. Courtney claims she was horrible and couldn’t dribble or shoot the ball, yet the coach still saw potential in her. She was determined to follow through and get better at the sport.

Years later, after much training and determination, Courtney was awarded a full scholarship to play basketball at the University of Mississippi (Ole Miss) and led her team as captain during her junior and senior years. As team captain her compassion and concern for her teammates as they came to her with concerns that she would communicate to the coaches began helping her carve a new path in life.

Courtney never thought she wanted to do anything other than play basketball; however, she realized her skills could translate to another field—nursing.

“I’ve always been a naturally curious person,” she said. “Health care providers healing powers and ability to connect with their patients sparked my interest when I was very young. Whenever I was ill and had to see my family doctor office I was intrigued by how calming his nurse’s presence was and her ability to connect with patients.”  

Courtney’s natural curiosity led her to explore new paths, taking an internship her seniorcmarbra13 year at Ole Miss with the team’s traveling nurse practitioner at the local cancer center. After completing her internship Courtney knew nursing was what she wanted to do.

Already majoring in exercise science made the transition to nursing school a natural one for Courtney. She graduated from Ole Miss in May 2013 and enrolled in the BSN program at the UAB School of Nursing the following August

Courtney said she is still moved by the therapeutic effect nurses have on their patients and channels that when taking care of her own patients.

“When I see patients who are down about their circumstances I try to inspire them to see things in a positive light, just like I did with my teammates,” said Courtney.

Once she completes her BSN, Courtney plans to continue her studies. Her future plans include becoming a travel nurse practitioner with a basketball team or a specialized hospital nursing unit.

Last modified on October 06, 2014

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