Since joining the Dolphins in 2018 as Assistant Coach for the Women’s Basketball team, Kelsey Carey has been a part of many accomplishments on the court.   Recently, she found additional success off the court by passing the National Council Licensure Examination, also known as NCLEX, to become a registered nurse.

Although she has gotten both her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in marketing, she always admired the work nurses did and felt she had a calling to help others.  “One of the biggest reasons I coach is because I feel it’s a great platform to help and impact young women,” said Carey. “I felt that through nursing I would be able to help even more people.”  Carey took the first steps towards her new career by starting nursing school in January of 2021. She found the support from family, friends, and colleagues at CSI to be instrumental during this time.

Carey credits the support of family, friends, and colleagues with helping her to become a registered nurse.

A typical day during her time in nursing school would find Carey waking up early to study before going to CSI at 7 AM for practice.  After practice, she would stay to continue her work as Marketing and Promotions Coordinator until she would attend classes or clinicals at the hospital.  She would follow this routine Monday through Friday and spent the weekends studying.

Carey has spent the last two years managing the balance between coaching and pursuing her nursing career.

“I really am so thankful and so blessed because everybody here has been so good with me and my schedule,” said Carey. “It helped me so much.”  After the 5-semester program came the final step to becoming a nurse, the licensing exam. Preparation for the exam took three months of studying and revising subjects in all fields and specialties. With guidance from her mentor on how to best prepare, she passed the exam.

          Carey and her newest teammates in the nursing field

In her experience as a nurse so far, Carey has found coaching to be helpful in her new career.  “The biggest thing that it helped me with is how to interact with people.  While coaching you have to have a voice,” she said. “They always stress in nursing that you want to have good relationships with your patients.  You want them to be able to trust you, and they should know that you’re there for their best interests.”

Similar to a basketball team, everyone on the team at the hospital plays an important role in achieving their goals.  “Healthcare is a team atmosphere,” she said. “Being in that atmosphere I was able to see how instrumental everybody working together is.”

For students who may find themselves in a similar situation, her advice is to not doubt yourself and explore different interests and opportunities.  “It’s difficult going into college not knowing exactly what you want to do,” Carey said. “I definitely think students should explore every option.  Whether it’s during your college career or post-grad, if you feel like you want to do something totally different from your major or something similar, you should pursue it.   Additional schooling may take a few more years, but that’s okay, and I think that’s important to engage in work you are passionate about.”

By: Lauren Wilson, CSI Athletics