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A different kind of duty: army veteran starts new career in nursing

In combat, just like in a hospital ED, you never know what is going to come through the door and you must always be prepared to help the people around you.

These are the words of former British Army soldier TJ Kroezen, who went from active duty in Afghanistan to studying nursing science in a matter of months.

Kroezen had been with the British Army for more than 12 years before he left due to a severe injury he sustained while on duty.

The 38-year old said he suddenly had to see his future in a whole new light and had to re-evaluate what he could and wanted to do.

“Nursing was the option that would give me job and life satisfaction,” Kroezen said. “I saw this new career as giving something back to my friends who didn’t make it out.”

Kroezen has now started the second year of his Bachelor of Nursing Science degree at USC and is working as a ward assistant at Hervey Bay Hospital’s emergency department.

Nursing Review spoke with Kroezen about starting a new career and the ways in which working on a ward compares to working in a war zone.

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