Sherman Champen is a Registered Nurse (RN), Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN), has his Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing (BSN), Master of Science degree in Nursing (MSN) and is a certified Family Nurse Practitioner. He is currently a Supervising Registered Nurse III for the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation at the California Medical Facility in Vacaville and a Theory Instructor at Blake-Austin College.

(Photo Courtesy of Sherman Champen)

(Photo Courtesy of Sherman Champen)

Where are you now and how did you get there?

“I currently work as a Supervising Registered Nurse III in Vacaville and have more than 28 years of state service. I got into nursing totally by accident. While working a summer job at a nursing home as a certified nursing assistant, a friend of mine advised me to become a nurse. I was originally a Physical Therapy major but took a chance and enrolled in the LVN program at Napa Valley College. I wanted to become a nurse practitioner and pursued more education at Samuel Merritt College. “

What is your advice to future nurses?

“I would strongly encourage anybody to consider becoming a nurse. While demanding, it is also rewarding in so many ways. I have never been unemployed as a nurse. You may not always get the job you want, but there appears to be many employment opportunities. As people are living longer, there will be a huge population of people over 65 years of age who will definitely need health care. Thus, more nursing opportunities will exist. Don’t be afraid to explore job opportunities in different areas. I think it is extremely important to be well-rounded as a new graduate nurse. Get some experience before looking for that ideal job and be careful of job burnout!”

How have your advanced degrees helped you?

“Having an advanced degree offers a host of opportunities. Specifically, there is the potential for more money, teaching opportunities, administrative opportunities, management opportunities and the list goes on and on. There is currently a huge need for nursing professors with advanced degrees. As professors retire, there are not enough nurses to replace them with advanced degrees. Learning should be a lifetime event and should always be fun!”

Megan Bowyer is a freelance writer in search of the best food and drinks that Sacramento has to offer. You can find her at any number of dive bars or trendy restaurants; just look for the short blonde feeding the jukebox. Her work can be found at “


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