Search SiteSkip to Main Content
Top

Third-generation sailor discovers career path through CCRI's nursing program

Wyatt PolasekJan. 8, 2020

Fate has brought Brandee Trotter down many different roads in life, some more winding than others.

From snow-covered mountains in Utah and military bases in Japan to the cozy confines of CCRI’s Newport County Campus, the 24-year-old first-generation college student is pursuing her passion to become a neonatal nurse, a dream she’s had since witnessing the birth of her youngest niece.

Her journey began in the small town of Roy, roughly 30 miles north of Salt Lake City, the youngest of four children in her family and the daughter and granddaughter of former hospital corpsmen.

Though Trotter never envisioned herself as the military type, she decided after high school she wanted to follow in her father’s footsteps, but the wait list for boot camp to become a hospital corpsman was too long. Rather than take time off and risk losing interest, she signed up to become an Interior Communications Electrician in May of 2013 less than a week after graduating.

Four months later, Trotter entered basic training. Her initial plan was to serve for four years – “a stepping stone,” as she put it – but joining the Navy opened many doors. While developing new relationships and exploring paths she never knew existed in high school, she spent the next six years fixing and repairing her ship’s communications equipment, everything from telephones and monitors to alarm systems and routers. The journey brought her all over the world, including the Philippines, Singapore, Australia, Hong Kong, Washington, and Japan.

“The military forced me out of my shell. Not only do I not recognize myself now, I don’t think I knew who I was before,” Trotter.

“I truly found myself in the Navy.”

She found love, too. While stationed in Japan, Trotter met her soon-to-be wife, Jay, a sailor from Gautier, MS. The two hit it off instantly and married in Virginia Beach this past December.

Fate continued to play a role in Trotter’s journey, even after her honorable discharge in July. When her wife was assigned to shore duty at Naval Station Newport, the two relocated to Middletown, where Trotter discovered CCRI and its nursing program while researching potential colleges.

With a campus conveniently located near her new home, jumpstarting her career as a neonatal nurse at CCRI made perfect sense. The college’s “veteran-friendly” staff helped her maximize the benefits of her GI Bill® and offered guidance as Trotter reacclimated to the civilian lifestyle six years removed from the classroom.

“While I was still in the military, I kept saying I wanted to be a nurse, but it didn’t always seem within reach,” Trotter said. “Now it does.”

Fate brought her this far. The rest is up to her. Motivated to pursue her dream job, Trotter has found her path to success at CCRI and will apply to the nursing program in February. Her journey, like the view on the open seas, is nothing short of amazing.

“My goal is achievable,” she said. “I’m glad I joined the Navy and I’m glad I took the time I needed to make sure I was ready to pursue my career. My school work has all my focus and CCRI has helped make the transition seamless. I’m grateful for this opportunity. 

Share this story

Latest News

News Image

Suspense is in the air

The CCRI Players return to the stage tomorrow in Providence with Deathtrap, a comedic thriller in which a struggling playwright wrestles with his moral compass when presented with a major opportunity.

Read More

News Image

Opportunity awaits

CCRI receives a $400,000 grant from the Strada’s Employer and Community College Partnership Challenge to address emergent workforce training needs in the state’s oral healthcare sector.

Read More

News Image

In the limelight

After building his theater career as a director and actor, longtime CCRI professor Ted Clement has finally written his first play, which premiers this Thursday at the Bobby Hackett Theatre.

Read More

News Image

An enlightening experience

Technical Assistant Luis Paz recently spent a week in his home country of Guatemala with members of his church on a dental mission trip to educate youth on the importance of proper dental care.

Read More

News Image

Lightening the mood

In a departure from their usual adaptation of Shakespearean works, the CCRI Players are bringing levity to their 2022–23 season opener this Thursday with Clown Bar live from the Bobby Hackett Theatre.

Read More

News Image

Crowning achievement

CCRI has been recognized by Waters Corporation for playing a key role in the past several decades helping the company find talented employees through the college's Chemical Technology program.

Read More

News Image

Pursuing his passion

Alumus Ednilson Tavares is one of three theater students joining the 2022–23 Sandra Feinstein-Gamm Theater’s Gamm Fellowship Program, created to provide opportunities for emerging artists of color.

Read More

News Image

Building a better future

CCRI teams with offshore wind joint-venture partners Ørsted and Eversource and labor and workforce development organizations, to prepare Rhode Island’s offshore wind workforce.

Read More

News Image

Access to education

CCRI has been selected as an education partner for Amazon’s Career Choice program, providing Amazon’s hourly employees access to the college’s more than 90 degree programs in high-demand industries.

Read More

News Image

Experience of a lifetime

Students in CCRI’s Communication and Film/Media program enjoyed a unique opportunity this past spring thanks to a first-of-its-kind project-based learning collaboration with Fidelity Investments.

Read More

Upcoming Events