Get to know Josh Carpenter

4th semester BSN student discusses SNA involvement, interest in nursing

Photo: Joshua CarpenterJosh Carpenter

4th Semester BSN student (set to graduate May 2021)

Josh’s tips for new students:

Tip No. 1: Learn how you study — don’t try to copy what someone else does. Just because a study method works for one person doesn’t mean it will work for you. Also, always do your assignments early. Most of your assignments are due on the same day as your tests, so if you procrastinate, you’ll end up doing the assignments and lose out on study time for your test.

Tip No. 2: My advice to an incoming student is to picture themselves in two years. Two years are going to go by regardless, so go ahead and work hard, and after those two years you will be where you need to be. I look at it like an investment — you work really hard to two years, and you might miss a few day to day things, but you’ll have set yourself up for a great career.

Fourth semester nursing student Joshua Carpenter always knew he wanted to work in the medical field, but he wasn’t sure in what capacity. As he pursued his options, however, he learned nursing provided several career paths and opportunities.

“Initially, I was looking at physical therapy or orthopedics because I played sports, but then I learned about orthopedic NPs. I started looking at ‘What else can you do as a nurse?’ It really showed me how far you can go,” said Carpenter, who was born in Jackson, Alabama but has called Mobile home since starting college. “There are so many paths you can take in nursing — get a PhD, work on the floor, work in the community, be part of a flight team. There are no limitations, and that’s what I love about it.”

Carpenter chose to attend the University of Alabama at Birmingham because of its reputation for high-quality nursing graduates and the clinical learning opportunities provided at UAB Hospital.

“The main reason I chose UAB was when you want to go into health care and you want to be top of the line, you go into UAB Hospital,” Carpenter said. “The University of Alabama at Birmingham’s programs are top-tier programs, and UAB is also a top hospital in the United States. That’s why I wanted to come here because I knew I’d get the best education and the best resources.”

In addition to his classes, Carpenter is also president of the Student Nurses Association (SNA) in the UAB School of Nursing. This organization is a local chapter of the National Student Nurses Association and works to mentor nursing students and to convey the standards, ethics and skills students will need as members of the nursing profession.

Carpenter joined SNA in his first semester of nursing school, after classmates nominated and elected him as a class representative. From there, he worked to establish a bridge program between SNA and the students who volunteer as pharmacotherapy tutors with Assistant Professor of Nursing Nancy Claus, DNP, CRNP, NP-C. Last semester, he chose to run for president.

“Even before I joined SNA, I realized it was a great program. It provides great opportunities to volunteer and help other students as well as the community,” he said. “I ran for SNA president because I had a lot of ideas and felt like I could do more to contribute. I also really enjoy leadership roles, and I feel like I have a knock for leading people, and I enjoy getting to make a difference in my school.”

As SNA president, Carpenter worked with faculty, associate deans and other students to plan the School’s first virtual Spring Fling celebration. While Spring Fling is typically an in-person event with sports, snacks and other activities, Carpenter said the post-COVID-19 modifications provided a fun break for students that stand out against his time at UAB.

“The Spring Fling that we did at the start of COVID-19 and social distancing measures was a highlight, and it was probably the most significant memory to me because I got to participate in all of the planning meetings,” Carpenter said. “Just seeing how many people — the associate dean, the marketing team, our instructors — came together to give students a fun break really showed how much everyone cares about us even outside of school. I also love our clinicals and labs, but I was just really impressed by that effort and dedication.”

After graduating in May 2021, Carpenter hopes to work in the cardiac intensive care unit at UAB Hospital for a few years before returning to school for his CRNA. Thanks to the foundation from his BSN degree, Carpenter said he feels prepared to take on additional opportunities and degrees.

“I feel like UAB School of Nursing is hard, it’s a challenging program, but it makes sure you are prepared,” he said. “Even in undergraduate nursing, there is a lot of research focus. They’re really preparing me to take a step into a Masters or DNP program because they’ve set a strong foundation.”

Read 377 times Last modified on August 31, 2020

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