Lieutenant Megan McKim is a native of Carson City, Michigan. She graduated from Lake Superior State University, earning a Bachelor of Science in Nursing in 2011. Immediately after graduation, she worked as a charge nurse for a civilian in-patient mental health unit. Lieutenant McKim was commissioned via the Nurse Candidate Program on December 18, 2012.
After completion of Officer Development School in February 2013, she reported to Naval Hospital Lemoore. While there, she served on the Multi-Service Ward and the Surgical Specialty clinics. Lieutenant McKim was the secretary for the Executive Committee of Nursing Services and Medical Executive Committee.
In 2016, Lieutenant McKim transferred to Naval Medical Center San Diego. She was assigned to the Adult Orthopedic Medical Surgical Unit. She quickly became charge nurse, and due to her superior leadership and military bearing, was hand selected to be one of four full time facilitywide nursing supervisors. From January 2018 to July 2018, Lieutenant McKim served as Protocol Officer for Pacific Partnership 2018.
She reported to Naval Hospital Rota, Spain in July 2019. During the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, she acted as Department Head for the Multi-Service Ward, in addition to Public Information Officer as a member of the Hospital Incident Command. She later assumed the position of Department Head, Telehealth, and Chief Nursing Information Officer where she was responsible for all virtual health command matters. Additionally, as the Reserve Program Director, she demonstrated collaborative resource management skills and is the primary organizer of all reservist Annual Training at NMRTC Rota. She completed her Master of Management, Strategy, and Leadership at Michigan State University in 2021.
She was recently selected for promotion to Lieutenant Commander and is currently working as a Medical Talent Acquisition Manager / Medical Career Counselor in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Lieutenant McKim’s personal decorations include the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal (three awards), Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal (two awards), and Humanitarian Service Award (two awards). Lieutenant McKim is married to Tyler McKim of DeWitt, Michigan, and has two children; her son Eli Austin, and her daughter Raelyn Marie.
What originally brought you to LSSU?
I grew up in the Lansing area and knew I wanted to be a nurse. Most nursing schools/programs at the time had wait lists, and LSSU was one school that did not have a nursing program waiting list. I also funded my education independently, so I liked that tuition was affordable. When I attended LSSU, they had a flat rate for all classes from 12-18 credits/semester.
What were your favorite parts about attending LSSU?
I loved that LSSU was embedded in a small community. I made friends quickly and joined the Student Alumni Association during my first week at school. I was able to plan and participate in school events that kept me active outside of my degree plan.
How has your education from Lake State helped you advance in your career?
My BSN from LSSU prepared me well for real-world nursing. The clinical rotations around Northern Michigan and Canada allowed me to experience nursing in various healthcare settings and environments. After graduation, I was nervous but ready for my first real hospital shift.
Why did you originally join the Navy?
I was struggling to pay for school, and the thought of taking out more student loans was daunting. There was a retired Senior Chief Petty Officer in my nursing class, and he suggested I look into the Navy Nurse Candidate Program (NCP). I spoke with a recruiter, applied, and was accepted to NCP in my Junior year at LSSU. I received a $10K signing bonus and a monthly stipend until graduation. NCP allowed me to cut back my work hours to focus on my nursing education. I was so happy to have some financial breathing room, and excited that I had a guaranteed job after graduation.
What are your responsibilities as a Navy Medical Program Career Counselor? Why did you make the transition from Nurse to Career Counselor?
I’m returning from a three-year tour in Spain, where I was the Chief Nursing Informatics Officer and Telehealth Department Head. I’ve been away from extended family for the past ten years and wanted to spend time with them after restricted visits due to the COVID-19 pandemic. I requested an assignment close to home, and the Navy allowed me to transition to Medical Career Counseling. As a Medical Program Career Counselor, I help Medical, Dental, Nursing, and other healthcare students determine if Navy medicine is the right path for them. I can connect current Active Duty and Reserve medical providers to students enabling frank discussions regarding future goals and military service.
Are you able to share some of your most memorable moments as a Navy Nurse?
I have been fortunate to have diverse experiences as a Navy Nurse. I was assigned to the hospital ship USNS Mercy and participated in Pacific Partnership 2018. We visited eight countries, delivered medical supplies, provided care, and participated in medical education exchanges. In 2021 I supported Operation Allies Refuge. I was a part of a Navy medical team that received at-risk U.S. and Afghan civilians during the emergency evacuation of Afghanistan. I appreciate the experiences the Navy has offered me, but I am most thankful for the people I have met during my service. Navy medicine has always felt like a team to me. I work with Navy health care professionals, including doctors, surgeons, social workers, psychiatrists, nurses, corpsmen, and many more. I have always felt I could rely on them to support me as we work together to achieve the best patient outcomes.
If an LSSU Alumnus asked you why they should consider joining one of the Navy Medical Programs, what would you tell them?
I’d ask about their goals and what they want to achieve. I want to ensure that each person I work with is a good fit for the Navy and that the Navy is a good fit for them. The Navy offers many excellent scholarship opportunities that include 100% tuition coverage for medical or dental school and monthly allowances. The Navy enables travel, new cultural experiences, and the ability to see how others live and experience life. However, the reason I continue service is that I love the teams I have been a part of and feel like I have had a positive impact on my patients, peers, and community.
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