Challenges to career longevity: Strategies and experience from a 20-year veteran
Dr. Shana Nicholson has remained energized by taking time off when needed and continuing her education to serve the EMS profession in different ways
By Leischen Stelter, American Military University
The high-stress work involved in the Emergency Medical Services (EMS) profession creates a high turnover rate among professionals, but Dr. Shana Nicholson has managed to achieve 20 years of service — and counting.
Earlier in her career, Dr. Nicholson was involved in multiple high-trauma and high-stress situations inherent to EMS and fire service. For her, part of sustaining the energy for work meant taking time off when needed, even when she didn’t recognize the need was so great. Eventually, it also meant continuing her education so she could serve the profession in different ways.
She went back to school and got a BS in Criminal Justice, a MS in Human Services, and went so far as to get a Ph.D. in Human Services with a specialization in Counseling Studies. She is currently a professor at American Military University teaching courses in Emergency and Disaster Management.