Picture of Ethan Fournier Nursing Scholar

Ethan Fournier

United States Army
M.S.N. Candidate, Class of 2023
School of Nursing

“You are never on your own when you are a Bass Military Scholar.”

Tell us about your military service. What did you do? Where did you serve? What do you value the most about your military service?

I served as an army nurse for 4.5 years, where I was stationed in Honolulu, Hawaii and Savannah, Georgia. During those years, I served primarily as a pediatric nurse.  I worked with a lot of very sick children who could have had anything from a broken arm to a rare form of cancer. This is when I found what I value the most in my military career: the opportunity to serve and care for the people who need it the most.  Helping kids go back from being sick to smiling and playing is one of the greatest joys I have had in my life and I would not trade it for the world.

What are your thoughts on mentoring other students while at Vanderbilt? As a role model, what values do you want to share?

Denzel Washington once said, “Show me a successful individual and I’ll show you someone who had real positive influences in his or her life. I don’t care what you do for a living—if you do it well I’m sure there was someone cheering you on or showing the way. A mentor.” Having a mentor makes a huge difference. I am a product of what it is to have mentors come alongside you. I know without them, I would not be where I am today. They taught me many values that shaped me as a person that I now share with others. Values like the little moments matter or going the extra mile goes a long way. These values have truly made a difference not only in my personal life but also as a nurse.

While at Vanderbilt, what will be the focus of your studies and how do you plan to use this knowledge in your future career?

I am currently pursuing a masters in nursing to become a pediatric nurse practitioner in an acute care setting. My goal at the end of this is to work with kids who have cancer. Throughout my nursing career, I have found that working with this population is my passion. These kids are so strong and so brave. They are constantly taking medications that take a huge toll on their bodies. They do countless tests involving huge needles and are in and out of the hospital frequently. It is such a humbling experience to watch what they go through and care for them. To see a child suffer changes you. It made me want to fight, to make a change, and ultimately to help end childhood cancer.

What would you tell other veterans about the Bass Military Scholars Program?

The Bass Military Scholars Program is an incredible program that lets you continue to serve even after your military career. It offers you the opportunity to help the local Nashville community through volunteering. This program also provides monetary means to help you achieve your goals. I would recommend being a part of this program to any veteran.