Husson University has announced that Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) graduate and Walpole native Madison Morano, a Second Lieutenant in the U.S. Army, received the prestigious Colonel Tanya Wahlberg Nurse Cadet Excellence Award. Named in honor of a former second brigade professor of military science, the award is presented each year to individuals who demonstrate excellence through leadership, character, academics and physical fitness.
Only one cadet from all of the 42 ROTC programs in the Northeast is selected to receive this award each year.
Lieutenant Colonel Steven A. Veves, LTC, IN, a professor of military science at the University of Maine, characterized this accomplishment as “a huge deal.” According to Veves, “Maine is traditionally one of the smaller programs and with that comes a smaller nurse population. Second Lieutenant Morano had to compete against larger schools, with more applicants, in order to win this award.”
After winning the Colonel Tanya Wahlberg Nurse Cadet Excellence Award, Morano took time to reflect on all of the hard work it took to earn this recognition. “As I pursued my degree, I kept putting pressure on myself to do better,” she said. “This award validated all of my hard work and I was honored to accept it.”
Ever since she was a little girl, Morano wanted to be a member of the U.S. Army. “I would see people dressed in uniform at the grocery store or in a restaurant and I was always fascinated by them.” Now an officer in today’s Army, she has no regrets about joining the armed services. “I love the camaraderie of the Army,” said Morano. “I always wanted to give back to my country and this is a great way to do it.”
There was no Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (JROTC) program offered at her high school, so Morano joined the Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) program during her first year at Husson University. ROTC is a leadership program offered at Husson University in partnership with the University of Maine through the Black Bear Battalion.
“Every semester, we were required to take an ROTC course,” said Morano. “Besides participating in physical training three mornings a week at both Husson and the University of Maine, we also had to participate in a military lab every Wednesday.” In addition to her ROTC requirements, Morano had to complete the challenging courses needed to earn Husson’s Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree.
Husson’s emphasis on experiential learning provided Morano with practical experience that supplemented her classroom and simulation laboratory learning. While she was at the University, she completed a Nurse Summer Training Program in Fort Wainwright, Alaska. “I was able to work in a military hospital and get a real feel for what my future would hold,” she said.
Following the completion of a basic course in San Antonio, Texas, Second Lieutenant Morano will be stationed at the Madigan Army Medical Center. This medical center is located on Joint Base Lewis-McChord, just outside Lakewood, Washington. It’s an integral part of the Madigan Healthcare System — one of the largest military hospitals on the West Coast. Morano’s goal is to specialize in labor and delivery nursing. She hopes to someday become a nurse anesthetist.