Opening the Door for Future Nurses

Terry Harrell gives so talented students without the means can pay for their education

harrellThere weren't very many men in nursing back when Terry Harrell (BSN '77) and a friend dared each other to enroll. Harrell followed through, and his nursing education prepared him for a career he never could have anticipated. Initially, he thought he wanted to become a nurse anesthetist. But after completing his bachelor's degree, he decided to work in a hospital setting—one year in emergency care and three in the operating room—before continuing his education. 

About the time he decided anesthesia wasn't for him, he was offered a job with a pacemaker manufacturer who needed someone with clinical experience to attend implants. Harrell's career in medical sales had begun.

"In the mid-90s, a colleague and I happened onto a product used in reconstructive plastic surgery, and we've been dealing in that field for about 17 years now," said Harrell.

Their Birmingham-based company was purchased by Synovis Life Technologies, which recently was purchased by Baxter, a global health care corporation.

"We have become a very small part of a very, very large company," said Harrell, who is director of sales for a division called Synovis Micro Companies Alliance. "I do most of our clinical evaluation of products and our clinical training with the sales group. I'm also liaison to our surgeon customers. So I use my nursing education every day. It has helped me tremendously."

Harrell said he contributes to the School of Nursing's Annual Fund because he wants to help open doors for future nurses. "I always thought it was right to give back," he said. "There are talented students out there who might not have the financial wherewithal to pay for an education, and I want them to have the opportunities that I've enjoyed. It's just the right thing to do."

Read 8257 times Last modified on February 04, 2015

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