Nurse Anesthesia Student Goes the Extra Miles

JULY 20, 2015 - Balancing master’s-level coursework can be difficult, but Bill Bricker (G’16), a Pennsylvania native, adds a 240-mile round-trip commute to his already packed schedule as he completes the Nurse Anesthesia Program at the School of Nursing & Health Studies.

As he delves into his program, Bricker notes the incredible amount of compassion and empathy that he has developed over the years.

A Different Journey

Bricker did not originally consider nursing as his calling. He first worked in the carpentry, electrical, and plumbing fields. He then earned a degree in finance and business administration. With the economic downturn in 2008, Bricker began seriously considering nursing as a career option.

Partly inspired by his wife, who is a nurse practitioner, Bricker obtained his BSN three years ago, worked as an ICU nurse, and became interested in nurse anesthesia. His experiences at Georgetown have been both academically rigorous and motivating.

“The time commitment and the amount of knowledge is like hooking a firehose to your mouth,” he says. “It’s incredibly eye-opening. The professors work in the field so they bring real-world knowledge to the classroom.”

Multiple Responsibilities

With his family in Pennsylvania and his studies in Washington, DC, Bricker has become an expert at juggling responsibilities. His schedule involves early morning drives from Pennsylvania into DC, days away from his family, and intense classwork.

“There has not been a night since I started the program that I haven't [spoken with] my children and told them that I love them,” says Bricker, who believes that his studies are worth it.

“Nursing has made me more compassionate than I thought I was,” he says. “It brings out a more caring and nurturing side, and I learned very quickly that I grew to genuinely care for my patients. I have grown to love that commitment to aid someone.”

Future Plans

This summer, Bricker will be working on a research paper that investigates the underlying motivations that drive people to donate to the political action committee for the AANA.

He will begin his clinical rotations this September and hopes to practice nursing back home in Pennsylvania after graduation.

About Georgetown, he says: “The most enjoyable part of the program has been the knowledge acquired. Though the day-to-day can be difficult, knowing that you have classmates encouraging you is rewarding. I fully enjoy the friendships and camaraderie that I have found at Georgetown.” 

By Celeste Chen (C’14, G’16)

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