WMU ROTC nursing cadet, Niles native one of five in nation chosen for program

Published 7:40 am Monday, December 23, 2013

Shelley Aurand, of Niles, at the WMU ROTC commissioning ceremony earlier in December. Submitted photo

Shelley Aurand, of Niles, at the WMU ROTC commissioning ceremony earlier in December. Submitted photo

KALAMAZOO — A Western Michigan University Reserve Officers’ Training Corps cadet is one of five in the nation selected for a special program allowing nursing graduates to delay active duty to pursue a graduate degree full time.

Shelley Aurand of Niles, was commissioned as an Army nurse Dec. 13 and graduated the next day with a Bachelor of Science degree in nursing from WMU’s Bronson School of Nursing. She was chosen for the program by the U.S. Army Recruiting Command’s Nurse Practitioner Health Professions Scholarship Board. Unlike other commissioned graduates, she will not go directly into active duty, but will continue her education to become a psychiatric and mental health nurse practitioner.

Aurand’s selection is well deserved, according to her superiors in the WMU Department of Military Science and Leadership.

In addition to maintaining a 3.45 grade point average in WMU’s challenging nursing program, Aurand participated in many other activities. She volunteered with the Battle Creek Veterans Administration Medical Center, providing recreational activities for veterans with mental health illness. She was also selected to attend the 2013 Nurse Summer Training Program, completing more than 150 hours in the emergency department at Evans Army Community Hospital in Fort Carson, Col., earning high praise for expertly working with critically acute and psychiatric clients.

In addition, she volunteered as captain of the ROTC Ranger Challenge and intramural basketball teams, served as cadet public affairs officer and assisted in recruiting potential nurse cadets.

Military Science professor Lt. Col. Decker B. Hains says Aurand’s selection is well deserved.

“During her time at Western and with Army ROTC, Shelley has consistently demonstrated her intellect, fortitude, professionalism and passion for the Army Nurse Corps and health care,” Hains says. “We congratulate this stellar alumna, wishing her the best in her graduate studies and in her future treating soldiers and their family members who experience mental health challenges.