I’m a Navy Nurse Corps officer and perinatal clinical nurse specialist. In June I departed Naval Hospital Bremerton (NHB) for Naval Medical Center San Diego and I recently became Assistant Specialty Leader for Maternal Child/Neonatal Nursing to the Director of the Navy Nurse Corps.
As a Detroit, Michigan native and Avondale High School 1990 graduate, I enlisted in the United States Marine Corps in 1991 and served 8 1/2 years as a combat correspondent. As a Marine, I completed tours with the Armed Forces Radio and Television Service (Far East Network) Iwakuni, Japan, and with the Marine Corps Security Force Company, Rota, Spain.
I left active duty in Dec. 1999 to pursue a Bachelor of Science in Nursing Degree from Christopher Newport University in Newport News, Virginia. Upon graduation in May 2004, I received my commission as a Navy Nurse Corps (NC) Officer through the nurse candidate program.
Navy Medicine has taken me on tours of duty at Naval Medical Center Portsmouth, Naval Hospital Sigonella, Sicily; duty under instruction (DUINS) at the University of Washington, Seattle, Wash., and NHB.
I started my nursing career on an inpatient medical-surgical unit, but eventually found my calling as a labor and delivery nurse. At Naval Hospital Sigonella I was assigned as the division officer of the Multi-Service Ward.
NHB was considered my DUINS utilization tour, so I have spent the past (nearly) three years working as a perinatal clinical nurse specialist with Northwest Beginnings Family Birth Center. While there, I also had the opportunity to fill-in as department head and deputy director of nursing services. It was an amazing tour with ample opportunities for career growth and development.
By far, the most exciting assignment I’ve had was serving as a mission nurse aboard the amphibious dock landing ship USS Pearl Harbor (LSD 52), during Pacific Partnership 2013. The multi-national humanitarian mission took us to Samoa, Tonga, the Marshall Islands, Kiribati, and the Solomon Islands. It was an incredible experience, not only becoming a Golden Shellback, but having the opportunity to complete subject matter expert exchanges with health care workers from the variety of cultures we visited. It was also fulfilling to finally spend more time aboard ship as a Sailor than I did when I was a Marine.
My primary duty as assistant specialty leader will be to advance the maternal-infant/neonatal critical care community by ensuring timely communication and implementation of evidence based practice initiatives to nurses in the specialty. When the 1920 specialty leader called me with the news of my selection I was on cloud nine. It’s an absolute honor to be recognized for my work, which I feel is my calling.
As a career motivated, doctorally prepared perinatal nurse specialist, I strive to consistently exemplify professional expertise and insightful leadership. I am an ardent champion of clinical excellence and advancing nursing practice, and have a strong desire for continued personal and professional development.
The skill set of the (1920/1964) community is exceptionally diverse and we serve in a variety of settings. It is imperative that our nursing community remains activity engaged in ensuring specialty interests are linked to and aid management decisions within Navy Medicine.
The position of assistant specialty leader will allow me further opportunities to serve the Nurse Corps and the maternal child community. I will strive to serve as an expert clinical resource to ensuring optimal patient care delivery through teaching and mentoring from basic nursing to advanced perinatal concepts.
I’m married to retired chief petty officer Frank Butler. Together we have four children, ages 14-26, and a hound dog.
To sum up my career experience in one sentence, I would say being part of Navy Medicine has allowed me to reach my nursing career goals while inspiring me to continue forward with new ones.
I’m Lt. Cmdr. Patricia Danielle Butler. I am Navy Medicine.
Editors Note: Credentials: DNP (Doctor of Nursing Practice), RNC-OB (Registered Nurse Certified-Inpatient Obstetrics), C-EFM (Certified-Electronic Fetal Monitoring)