A Career in Nursing, A Life of Learning

Ask Kim Harper, Riverside Walter Reed Hospital's Director of Emergency Services, and she'll tell you proudly –there's not a day that goes by that she doesn't learn something new.

That's the beauty of medicine. That's the beauty of nursing. That's the beauty of Riverside.

In fact, a dedication to continuing education and growing in the medical field is foundational to Harper's story with Riverside –and one of the key reasons she remains so dedicated to the health system.

From working with her school schedule, to financial aid and tuition reimbursement benefits, "Riverside has always been very supportive and helpful," Harper said of her educational pursuits.

Harper started with Riverside as a certified nursing assistant (CNA) and worked at the Mathews Convalescent Center. While in nursing school, Harper got a second job in the Walter Reed Intensive Care Unit.

"Anything I needed for school I always had people to help me," Harper said.

In 2016, Harper completed her master's degree at the University of Virginia.

"The great thing about nursing is you can find you niche," Harper said. "We're always learning. Whether it's taking care of kids, taking care of older patients, working in a hospital, working in lifelong health, home health…you have so many wonderful options throughout your life that if you get bored doing one thing you have a great opportunity to do something else."

Doing something else often means learning something new. And, as Harper said, there is not a day that goes by at Riverside that she doesn't learn something new, and she wouldn't have it any other way.