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Providing care outside the confines of hospital walls

2019 National Nurses Week Profile of Army Major Julie Duffy 2019 National Nurses Week Profile of Army Major Julie Duffy

Army Maj. Julie Duffy

Critical care clinical nurse specialist
Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, Bethesda, Maryland


I knew I wanted to be a nurse when I was growing up because I’ve always enjoyed helping others. I decided I wanted a career that would allow me to help others when they need it most. I’m convinced there's no better way to do that than in critical care medicine.

I joined the military because when I was in the third grade, I saw my cousin in the Air Force fly his plane back in from Desert Storm.  I knew then that I’d serve in the military as well.

The best thing about my job is, without a doubt, taking care of our nation’s heroes. The military provides me with some pretty awesome co-workers as well.

My most prominent memory of being a nurse is being chased down by a family in a Target store. They recognized me and wanted to thank me for taking care of their loved one. Often we care for patients and their families in their worst moments and never see them again. Experiences like that are unforgettable.

I was most challenged when flying as an en route critical care nurse with the Dustoff units in Afghanistan. “Dustoff” is a military term for emergency patient evacuation of casualties from a combat zone. I gained a lot of confidence in my knowledge base and skills, and it was amazing providing for service members other than in a hospital.

My most memorable patient experience was in Iraq in 2008. Family members brought into the combat support hospital a young girl who had third-degree burns. Their faith in my ability to care for her based solely on my status as a U.S. Army nurse was humbling.

When I’m not in uniform, I’m spending time with my family. Nursing in general can be very emotionally and physically draining. Spending time with family is a perfect stress reliever.

My nurse superpower is compassion.

DHA Address: 7700 Arlington Boulevard | Suite 5101 | Falls Church, VA | 22042-5101

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