LT Lori Campbell

Hometown: New Orleans, LA
College: Hampton University, Walden University
Major/Degree: BS in nursing from Hampton University in 2003, receiving honors cum laude; master’s degree in nursing as a Family Practitioner from Hampton University in 2006; currently, Ph.D. (ABD) in organizational psychology from Walden University
Navy Programs Utilized While in College: Medical Enlisted Commission Program (MECP) in 2000 at the Hampton Roads NROTC Unit
Current Assignment: Naval Hospital Pensacola, FL – Nurse Corps Officer at Naval Branch Health Clinic, New Orleans, LA, as the Senior Nurse/Clinic Manager
Affinity Associations: Sigma Theta Tau Nursing Honor Society, Golden Key Honor Society, Psi Chi National Honor Society in Psychology, American Academy of Nurse Practitioners, Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology (SIOP), Urban League, American College of Healthcare Executives (ACHE), National Naval Officers Association (NNOA), Association of Naval Services Officers (ANSO).
Future Goals: To be assigned to a Navy humanitarian aid ship, assisting in disaster relief efforts; serving at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba
Hobbies: Jogging, photography, reading, giving back to the local communities, volunteering and mentoring youth, family time with the kids

As an African-American woman, how has the Navy helped propel your career?
In many, many ways: The Navy has really allowed me to continue my education and provided leadership role models. It has given me an edge that has put me above and beyond professionally.

Have you always wanted to be a nurse? Not really, but my mother was a nurse, so it must run in the family. I was a Hospital Corpsman in the Navy first, but the mentorship from Navy nurses I met along the way really helped push me toward not just staying in the Navy, but moving up as well. The nurses trained me and inspired me.

How did your family feel about you joining the Navy? They didn’t want me to join – they thought I wouldn’t finish school, were afraid I’d be in a situation dominated by men, wouldn’t be able to have kids or get married. They just didn’t know what to expect, as so many people don’t. You have to really be in the Navy to truly understand what it offers.

How do they feel about all your success in the Navy? They are so proud of what I’ve accomplished – they know I take great pride in being part of an elite team and serving my country as best I can.

Did you utilize any of the Navy’s money for college programs? Absolutely – I was in the NROTC Unit located in Hampton Roads in Virginia; then the Navy paid for me to get my master’s degree in nursing and my Ph.D. in organizational psychology. It has given me unlimited opportunities to advance my education.

Has there been any one thing that has stood out for you as a definitive “Navy” experience – a highlight of your time in service? I think seeing how higher-ranking Officers reach back to help junior Officers has been one of the most gratifying things I’ve witnessed. You see it all the time, and I’m not sure it happens like that in the private sector. I’ve gotten great advice from Admirals that has meant everything to me, one that stands out is “Be you,” and that’s what makes me unique.

Where are you stationed now? Back in New Orleans, which is where I grew up. I’ve come home to serve and it’s wonderful.

How have you juggled the demands of a Navy career and being a parent? Has the Navy helped in any way? The Navy has always been there to help when I’ve needed them. I’ve had two children since I’ve been in, and I’ve always gotten support when I needed it – they help you juggle your schedule if you need to. The Navy is like a family, and families help each other. Work/life balance has never been a problem – I’ve been able to be a wife, a mother, a student and an Officer. After 18 years, I love it more every day.

Any place you really want to go that you haven’t been to yet? I want to serve on a humanitarian ship – to have the chance to make a difference like that is very important to me. I also would like to serve at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. It is a great duty station, one of the best in the Navy, and the water is supposed to be very nice!

Do you recommend the Navy to other people you meet – young people who may be looking for a career or help getting through college? Yes, absolutely. I’m a great ambassador because I love the Navy. If you don’t know about what it offers, you can’t imagine it. You can get married, get your student loans paid off, get money to go to school, learn what real leadership means and become a leader yourself.

Do you feel being in the Navy gave you a leg up on achieving your career goals? No question. It’s opened doors I never imagined, given me an edge in so many ways. The diverse jobs, the people I’ve met, the level of experience at a young age – you can’t find that anywhere but in a place like the Navy. As a nurse, I’ve been able to work in so many areas, so quickly – I’d never have gotten opportunities like that so quickly anywhere else.