In this recurring monthly special, Nonahood News will be featuring those who’ve graduated from Lake Nona High School and will recognize the achievements they’ve made since. Some will have been a part of the first graduating class. Others might have graduated a few years later. Few have stayed in the Lake Nona area, and many have explored the world or are still doing so. Let’s see where life’s journey has taken them so far!
Year Graduated: 2013
Occupation: Intensive Care Unit Registered Nurse
Current Location: Tampa, FL
Brittany Reeser has always had a very charismatic and fun personality. That was what shined through in her interview. When asked how the Reeser family wound up in the Lake Nona area, she credited the convenient locale and paid an ode to what our generation would classify as a classic movie.
“A combination of the vicinity to the airport and to attend Lake Nona High School. Plus, my sister and I couldn’t bunk bed in the same room in high school. Step Brothers had not come out, and it was not cool yet.”
While a student at Lake Nona High School, Reeser was pretty adamant on attending the University of Florida and becoming a nurse.
“My aspirations were to become a Gator – Go, Gators! – and study nursing to become a certified registered nurse anesthetist. The local community where I live is always important to me so I wanted to get involved in Gainesville. I always desired to explore a new country and travel the world.”
Reeser had a pretty successful life after graduating from high school, as she was able to achieve every single one of her goals … something not many students get to say they accomplished.
“I became a Gator immediately upon graduating. I was involved in a pre-health honors society called Alpha Epsilon Delta that provides community service opportunities and guidance through the undergraduate process. This organization partnered with American Cancer Society, Relay for Life, Climb for Cancer, Dance Marathon, Alachua County Humane Society, and St. Jude’s Research Hospital to name a few,” Reeser explained. “After graduating, I became a travel nurse and worked three- to 11-month assignments in various parts of the U.S. I desired to visit. This enabled me to see the world through my career. … It was the dream job. I worked three days a week and was off exploring, hiking, skiing, and, most importantly, trying new restaurants with new travel nurses and staff nurses at the hospital.”
It’s safe to say Reeser was very clever and had her career well-thought-out to be able to combine her calling and passion for nursing with her love for traveling. If you asked me, that sounded like she was living the best of both worlds!
“Most of the fun was when I was traveling as I am in graduate school now. Some of the best times were my off days while travel nursing. They were comprised of skiing in Colorado and Vermont, staying in a yurt in Yosemite, climbing up to Half-Dome, seeing a Broadway play in New York, going to Mardi Gras, biking across the San Francisco Bridge, visiting Italy, the Grand Caymans, and Mexico,” reminisced Reeser. “I am so thankful I had a career that could afford me all of these unforgettable experiences, but they would not be as wonderful without my amazing friends and family to participate with me.”
So how did she get to where she’s currently at? Reeser reminisced on her journey.
“I was accepted into the University of Florida’s nursing program and graduated in 2016 with my BSN. While in school, I conducted research to study the effects of culturally congruent nursing education materials on the knowledge base of Cambodian nurses,” explained Reeser. “In many places in Cambodia, the nurses lack in health assessment, so the project included developing culturally-sensitive anatomy and physiology educational videos at their English level. The success was measured by tests after viewing the videos and most significantly improved. It was amazing that I could improve nursing halfway around the world.”
Reeser continued into the hands-on experience she gained in her career, diving right in.
“After graduating, I immediately went into critical care, landing a job in the Medical/Surgical and Cardiothoracic Intensive Care Unit. It was [a] vigorous, yet rewarding career. We cared for car accidents, traumas, open heart surgery patients, gunshot wound victims, severely septic patients, and many more critically ill patients,” Reeser continued. “This type of nursing provided me with critical thinking, autonomy, and direct care to truly make a difference in people’s lives. As Val Saintsbury would say, ‘Nurses dispense comfort, compassion, and caring without even a prescription.’ On top of it all, intense jobs build solid and completely trusting relationships with your coworkers. Every day at work, I knew whoever was there had my back.”
In the next five years of her life, Reeser would love to be practicing as a full-time nurse anesthetist.
“I would like to assist with clinical skills and teach the future classes behind me. Oh, and definitely [have] at least 12 dogs!”
She explained how some of her current goals in life are to maintain a good life and school balance while she completes graduate school and, naturally, to succeed.
“Succeeding in nurse anesthesia school. It’s a very rigorous three-year program, but the rewards are immeasurable. … I was told in my interview that it would be about a 60- to 80-hour week in this program, so I am hoping to maintain some sort of balance,” Reeser detailed. “A random one, but I would love to go skydiving. Nothing is more intriguing than jumping out of a perfectly good plane!”
And now Reeser is off to continue her schooling, growing further into her career and experience.
“I wanted to increase my scope of practice and autonomy in the field of nursing and have always been fascinated with the field of anesthesia. I applied and was accepted into the University of South Florida’s Doctorate of Nurse Anesthesia Program starting summer 2019. Nurse anesthetists guide patients safely and painlessly through complicated surgeries, setting the foundation for their recovery. I cannot wait to get started on my dreams.”
Here’s to your bright future, Dr. Reeser!
Written for current and future Lake Nona alumni by a Lake Nona alumna. Check back in to our July issue to learn about our next Nona graduate(s)!