At the dawn of the COVID crisis, Captain Cathy Durham came to the rescue of New York Hospitals.
In the first days of the pandemic, Cathy Durham DNP, APRN, FNP-C got the call. As Chief Nursing Officer for 254 naval nursing reserves across several states, she would be deploying from her home in Charleston, SC, to lead a makeshift battalion in support of New York hospital’s beleaguered healthcare workers. As she made her way through deserted airports in Charleston, Philadelphia and New York, Dr. Durham began to feel the magnitude of what she would be up against. Even having worked in Haiti following the 2010 earthquake could not prepare her for what she would find.
“I had a huge sense of responsibility to all the people who were looking to me,” she recalled in a conversation with Nurses’ Station host and Regis College Assistant Professor of Nursing Lawana Brown.
The Assistant Dean for Graduate Practice Programs and Associate Professor in the Doctor of Nursing Practice Program at the College of Nursing (Medical University of South Carolina), Dr. Durham relied on the unique cultures of the Navy and nursing for reassurance.
“There’s something about putting on that [military] uniform,” she explained. “And my hope is, nurses, you put on your scrubs and that’s your team and regardless of all the other stuff that happens, we’re in this together.”