From a Small Town in Indiana to a MEDEVAC Unit in Iraq
By: Heather Cox
Tiffany Randall graduated from Indiana Wesleyan University in 2011 with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing, and she has been on an amazing journey ever since.
Originally from Crawfordsville, Indiana, Randall first heard of IWU through a friend from high school. Once she visited IWU, she fell in love with the passion she saw in the faculty, and admired the focus and God-driven attitudes the students held. Randall immediately felt like she belonged and felt God calling her to the university.
Randall also felt like nursing was a call from God.
“I chose nursing as my major for one main reason; I loved helping people. Throughout my childhood my father was in and out of the hospital undergoing surgeries. I saw how the nurses interacted with my father and helped him on the road to recovery,” Randall said. “They were there when he was at his worst and accepted him just the way he was. They encouraged, supported, and cared for him through it all. I wanted to be that person.”
During her time at IWU, not only was her time dedicated to pursuing an education in nursing, but she was also a part of Reserved Officer Training Corps (ROTC) her sophomore year, and accepted a 3 year scholarship. Eventually, she also commissioned into the Army Nurse Corps on a four year service contract.
“ROTC took up a lot of time. We did physical training most mornings, attended Military Science classes twice a week, and attended a lab exercise once or twice a week,” Randall said.
Randall considers it a huge blessing to have studied at IWU, and she loved nearly every part of it.
“The faculty held themselves to a higher standard and lived out their Christian faith in the classroom. They demonstrated their values and treated everyone fair,” Randall said.
Randall said she also loved and looked forward to attending Chapel three times a week. She said taking a break in the middle of the day to worship as a student body was refreshing.
The Nursing Program at IWU was an additional wonderful experience for Randall.
“IWU School of Nursing was one of a kind,” Randall said. “The professors, lab instructors and clinical instructors wanted nothing but the best for me. They challenged me, pushed me beyond what I believed I was capable of and inspired me to do the same for fellow students and later, my co-workers.”
Randall said her Nursing professors were also very understanding of her busy Military schedule and took time to make sure she was successful, to which Randall said she will always be grateful. In fact, these professors inspired Randall to obtain a Master of Science in Nursing, with an Emphasis in Nursing Education, in December 2015.
“All of my professors had an impact on my life. Why? Because I felt they truly cared and believed in me,” Randall said. “The fact that they demonstrated Christian values and beliefs in the classroom really warmed my heart and inspired me to be an educator like them someday.”
Randall’s favorite classes were her nursing classes because of her passion for medicine and for learning how to care for patients based on their illness or disease.
“I also really enjoyed World Changers,” Randall said. “To this day I still talk about that class because of the influence it had on my current beliefs. World Changers challenged me to question why I believed what I believed and dig deeper into the meaning of my existence. I loved that. I grew substantially as a person and even more so as a believer in God.”
Following graduation, Randall pursued some of her biggest dreams.
She first commissioned into active duty in the U.S. Army in Fort Sam in San Antonio, Texas for a Basic Officer Leadership Course (BOLC), which was a four month long course.
Following this course, she reported to her first duty station at Tripler Army Medical Center in Honolulu, Hawaii. It was there she worked on a Medical/Telemetry (Cardiac) Unit for 2 years before transferring.
“I left Tripler in the summer of 2014 and was stationed at San Antonio Military Medical Center (SAMMC),” Randall said. “At SAMMC, I attended a course called Critical Care/Emergency Trauma Nursing, which was an intense advanced nursing course. Upon completion of the course I was identified as an ER nurse in the Army.”
In January 2015, Randall was assigned to SAMMC’s Emergency/Trauma Department, which had been a goal of hers since the beginning.
“San Antonio Military Medical Center is the only Trauma Level I Center in the Department of Defense and is the center for military medicine research. Trauma is a passion of mine and I have always wanted to work in a Trauma Level I Center,” Randall said. “When I was a little girl, I would watch the Life Line air medical helicopters fly over my house. From then on I had always wanted to be a flight nurse. God opened the door for that to be possible through the military.”
Randall was then selected to to a two week military course called Joint Enroute Critical Care in April 2016, where she learned to care for patients in the back of Blackhawk helicopters. Following this course, she returned to the ER at SAMMC until she received her deployment orders.
Randall was deployed to Iraq in August 2016, where she is currently serving as an Enroute Critical Care Nurse with a MEDEVAC Unit.
“As an Enroute Critical Care Nurse, I assist the flight medics in caring for critical care patients in a Blackhawk helicopter,” Randall said. “It is a once in a lifetime opportunity, and I am very blessed and grateful to serve the men and women who sacrifice everything for our nation. This is the reason I joined the military.”
As for her future plans and dreams, Randall plans to stay in the military until retirement. She hopes to eventually obtain her Doctor of Nursing Practice as a Clinical Nurse Specialist and/or Nurse Practitioner.
“I love helping others reach their full potential and see young nurses grow into great leaders and become resources and role models for the next generation to come,” Randall said.
For current IWU students, Randall encourages them to chase their dreams with everything they have.
“Never settle for mediocre and never give up on your biggest dreams. One of my favorite verses from my time at IWU is Matthew 6:33 (NLT) ‘Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and He will give you everything you need.’ By putting God first in my life I have been able to see my wildest dreams come true and fulfill the unique purpose God created me for,” Randall said.
Written by Heather Cox, writer for the Alumni Office. Heather is a junior Journalism major at IWU. She is also the Editor of GrantCOnnected.net, a community news site run by IWU students. She is unsure of where life will take her after college, but she knows she never wants to stop writing!