Published November 9, 2018
Rebecca McCormick-Boyle is a recently retired Navy Rear Admiral who earned her undergraduate degree from the University at Buffalo School of Nursing. She also holds an MHA from the US Army (Baylor University) and an MS in human resource management systems from Chapman University. In her 36 years career as a navy nurse, Rebecca McCormick-Boyle has been systematically promoted to highly responsible positions that culminated in her most recent roles as director of the Navy Nurse Corps and commander of Navy Medicine Education, Training, and Logistics Command (NMETLC) at Fort Sam Houston.
United States Navy
McCormick-Boyle has received a number of recognitions from the military, including:
She is also the recipient of the UB Distinguished Alumni Award and the UB School of Nursing Distinguished Alumni Award.
I grew up in a very patriotic and community-minded family. My father served in WWII, and following his active service he joined the Navy Reserves. He was active in the Navy League and helped start the Sea Cadet program in Buffalo, NY, in addition to many other community building activities. I admired greatly the patriotism of my father and his friends. Thus my affinity to the Navy and to joining an organization with a big purpose.
As my college years came to a close and I considered where to begin my career, I decided I wanted the opportunity to see a little bit of the world while still calling “home” home; the Navy provided the perfect means. I submitted my application in my senior year and entered the Navy in the fall following my graduation as a new nurse.
Military service has absolutely influenced my approach to nursing. There is the “essence” of nursing, but each organization has its own unique mission and culture which in turn influences the careers and activities of the people who serve within it.
The primary mission of the Navy nursing is to military members and their families. This is a unique mission and it influences one’s approach. Navy nurses must provide exceptional care in a variety of locations, from stateside hospitals to operational settings. It is imperative that Navy nurses be ready to deploy along with those they serve. It is a unique dual mission.
And yet, the “essence” of nursing must be nurtured and monitored. As the director of the Nurse Corps, I led an effort to articulate our Navy Nurse Corps Professional Practice Model. I believe a professional practice model is a vital aspect of any nursing community.
Service members and military members come from communities all across this great nation. They are truly America’s sons and daughters. They have taken an oath to protect all the freedoms we enjoy. They are, as a colleague of my often says, “Keepers of the cloth.” They are good people with hopes, dreams and aspirations just like everyone else.
We have certain “set aside” dates in this country. I believe these dates have often become a “holiday.” I would encourage citizens, and I use that phrase purposefully, to participate in Independence Day, Veteran’s Day and Memorial Day events that are designed to celebrate or recognize the day’s meaning. (Memorial Day is not a celebratory day, but rather a day of recognition and remembrance of those who gave all and died in service.)
In this era, many of them have deployed in harm’s way; this cadre deserves special recognition and protection.