As a Peace Corps Volunteer in Peru, Bringardner noticed that of all the healthcare professionals, nurses tended to be more involved with patient care, prevention, and outreach. “They lent me their creative minds, infallible optimism, and infinite patience in ways other health professionals could not,” he said.
Two years later, back in the United States, Bringardner volunteered at the Pennsylvania Department of Health and worked as an emergency department technician. During that time, he says, “my impression of nurses, and the type of care they provide, continued to stir my spirit.” He later served as the Haiti Project Coordinator for Project Gaia, promoting the use of clean ethanol cook stoves.
Today, Bringardner is a student in the traditional class of 2012, thanks in part to the Elaine Neely Schelle Scholarship and William G. Baker Jr. Memorial Fund. He hopes to be a clinical nurse practitioner and to establish himself in the field of global health research. “Whether in state-of-the-art hospitals or ramshackle refugee camps, nurses can deliver quality care based on holistic models of health,” he said. “Where do I believe nursing will take me? It will be wherever someone struggles to be cared for.”