From left, Preceptor Daria Mlynarski, BSN,RN,OCN, Allan Hale, Estrellita Karsh, Chrissy Hale and Professional Development Manager Cathy Rowland, MSN,MPH,OCN,BMTCN, during the NLN celebration.

From left, Preceptor Daria Mlynarski, BSN,RN,OCN, Allan Hale, Estrellita Karsh, Chrissy Hale and Professional Development Manager Cathy Rowland, MSN,MPH,OCN,BMTCN, during the NLN celebration.

Allan Hale, BSN, RN, often jokes that his wife, Chrissy Hale, BSN, RN, OCN, of Braunwald Tower 16AB, is an excellent saleswoman, “whether she realizes it or not,” he says. 

That’s because Chrissy’s passion for nursing, and particularly oncology, inspired Allan, her high school and college sweetheart, to switch careers from business management and music recording to the profession she holds dear.

“When Chrissy got her first job as a nurse, I found the stories she would tell so interesting, and she talked about it so passionately,” said Allan, who received his degree in music production and recording engineering and worked as a general manager for Starbucks after college. 

But, daunted by the thought of taking nursing school exams, he took a job in business administration for a veterinary hospital. It wasn’t until after the Hales had their first daughter that Allan decided to put his fears aside and follow his heart to the profession he had been contemplating for years. 

It would take nearly four years to complete seven pre-requisite courses and the accelerated BSN program at UMass Dartmouth, during which time he worked as a general manager for a coffee chain and then as a patient care assistant at the Brigham. He and Chrissy also welcomed their second daughter. 

Estrellita Karsh gives Rachel Colby, BSN, RN, of Shapiro 9/10, her angel wings pin during a special luncheon for NLNs. Colby, who addressed fellow NLNs, preceptors and leaders, said the Nora McDonough Newly Licensed Nursing Program helped ease her fears and showed her how supported NLNs are at the Brigham.

Estrellita Karsh gives Rachel Colby, BSN, RN, of Shapiro 9/10, her angel wings pin during a special luncheon for NLNs. Colby, who addressed fellow NLNs, preceptors and leaders, said the Nora McDonough Newly Licensed Nursing Program helped ease her fears and showed her how supported NLNs are at the Brigham.

Last month, Allan was one of 160 nurses who completed the Nora McDonough Newly Licensed Nursing Program. The yearlong program provides Brigham nurses with the foundation for a successful career and personal growth through a comprehensive orientation, classes, bedside simulations and seminars. The May 30 luncheon was attended by NLNs, preceptors and nursing leaders, as well as special guests Estrellita Karsh, whose generosity and vision have supported the program, and the family of the late Nora McDonough, for whom the program was named.

The celebration marked a new beginning for the Hales. 

“I knew Allan would be a great nurse, and I was very proud of him for making this decision to change careers,” said Chrissy. “He worked so hard, between studying, managing a job and juggling two kids who want to spend every minute with him. Now, when we leave work, we have time that is just for our family. His last career didn’t offer that.”

Allan was one of 40 NLNs hired into Oncology this past year. He developed a deep appreciation for the specialty as a patient care assistant, which was a surprise for Chrissy. “Neither of us set out to be in Oncology, but we both ended up really enjoying it,” she said. “Between the fascinating research in the field and the wonderful patients and families, it’s a great place to work.”

She says that Allan’s path to nursing is proof that it’s never too late to change careers or continue one’s education. 

“I’ve met people who have pursued nursing as a second career, and it is truly an opportunity that offers so much personal satisfaction and so many benefits,” she said.