Dan Showalter - Practical Nurse

dan showalterDan Showalter is committed to helping others. In 2002, he earned his bachelor's degree from Pacific Lutheran University in religion with the goal of working in ministry. After graduation, he faced a bleak job market and decided to pursue a job as a carpenter-something in which he already had experience.

Dan worked as a carpenter as a high school summer job, so he thought becoming a journey-level carpenter would be a perfect fit for him. In 2002, he took carpentry apprentice courses at Bates and spent the next 10 years as a journeyman carpenter and health and safety engineer.

But it wasn't until a harrowing experience during a backpacking trip in the Olympic Mountains that he learned where his passion really was. After hearing screams in the middle of the night from a fellow hiker who had fallen from a cliff, he and his friend secured help from a ranger station. "It was during this hike that I told myself I really wanted to help people with what I do in my life," he said.

After this trip, Dan decided to research the possibility of becoming a nurse. He took action and enrolled in Bates' Practical Nurse prerequisite courses.

"The one component missing from my career as a carpenter was being able to help people," he said. "I like that nursing is a hands-on way to help others."

Dan notes that Bates offered him the education and experience he needed to change careers. "I'm excited about the openness of the nursing field. There are so many options...and there are nursing needs everywhere in the world."

Following his education, he plans to secure a job in a clinic and become a registered nurse. He eventually hopes to work in an emergency or operating room.