News: Team Langley nurse earns national honor
Story by Staff Sgt. Ashley Hawkins
LANGLEY AIR FORCE BASE, Va. -- Continuing the trend of excellence in the 633d Medical Group, Capt. Marion Collins, a Women’s Health Clinic nurse manager with the group, won the Association of Women’s Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses Armed Forces Section’s 2010 Junior Nurse of the Year award during the organization’s annual conference in Las Vegas, Sept. 25-29.
Maj. Kristine Hackett, the Women’s Health flight commander, received the call for nominations for the award and submitted a package for the captain.
“I thought Captain Collins as a good choice from our clinic and submitted a package for her,” Hackett said. “She competed against four other nurses from across the Air Force to win the award.”
“Winning this award means a lot to me,” Collins said. “It is good recognition for the Air Force to show civilian nurses the military side of nursing.”
Hackett described Collins as a highly-skilled nurse and “mission-focused officer,” completing a multitude of critical life-saving measures and executing several initiatives to maximize the efficiency of the staff.
In addition to going above and beyond to ensure effective patient care, the captain, a veteran registered nurse and prior enlisted Airman, bolstered her self-improvement through her focus on continuing education and training, as well as community involvement, including leading her squadron’s Combined Federal Campaign beyond wing goals and donating more than $1,500 in clothing and household items to the Airman’s Attic.
Collins began her Air Force career in 1982 in communications, separating in 1992 as a staff sergeant to pursue her education and raise a family. From there, she earned her bachelor’s degree in nursing from the University of Detroit Mercy in Michigan, and worked as a civilian registered nurse for 16 years until returning to the Air Force as an officer in 2008.
“I never wanted to get out of the Air Force, but I wanted my get my nursing degree,” the captain said. “I’m so excited to be back in the Air Force. I love it.”
Collins attributed her passion for military nursing to the necessity of providing care to new mothers in the military healthcare system, including young female service members.
“A lot of people are surprised with the need for labor and delivery nurses in the military,” she said. “We are a good voice for our patients. A lot of the women we see are very young and scared, at a new base with no family in the area. I instill in them that I’m their advocate and will be there for them.”