Published on July 7, 2016 by Katie Stripling  
Jennifer Snee

When Jennifer Snee moved to America from Germany in 1999, she never imagined that her journey would lead her to the U.S. Army. She spoke very little English, and relied on financial aid and a lot of hard work to achieve her dream of becoming a nurse. She successfully completed her undergraduate degree and began a career in pediatric intensive care. In 2014, she enrolled in Samford’s Nurse Anesthesia program — a decision that would prove to be life changing.

Service is a key component of Samford’s program and one that has resonated with Snee since her first days. She completed the Nurse Anesthesia program in May and will now apply her heart for service to a career that she refers to as “both mentally and physically challenging, but incredibly rewarding.”

Snee will join the U.S. Army as an active-duty captain and certified registered nurse anesthetist.

“Serving in the army is an opportunity for me to give back to a country that has given so much to me,” said Snee. “If I do get deployed, which I feel is inevitable, I believe I can make the greatest impact there on the greatest number of people. I want to help make sure those soldiers come home to their families.”

According to Snee, anesthesia in the military is much different than in the civilian world. Her day-to-day work will vary greatly depending on where she is stationed, but she knows she will be expected to practice much more independently than civilian CRNAs. Snee will care for soldiers, their families and veterans.

“My role is first as a soldier, and then as a CRNA. I will be expected to wear the hat of both nurse anesthetist and captain. I could be the only CRNA at a post, and I will have additional administrative and physical responsibilities that will make the job even more of a challenge. I’m certain it will be difficult, but I find that anything worth doing usually is,” said Snee.

Snee hopes to spend her career in the military, but if circumstances change, she is confident that this experience will make her an even better nurse anesthetist.

“Military CRNAs have incredible skills and mental capacity; they don’t sweat anything,” she said. “They are excellent clinicians who communicate and handle situations calmly and strategically. I am confident that wherever I practice, this experience will serve me and my patients well.”

Snee will begin her service this summer following successful completion of the National Certification Examination. She is confident that she is prepared for this endeavor. “The faculty in the nurse anesthesia department invested countless hours teaching me this profession, and I’m ready for the next step,” she said.

“I am honored to have this opportunity to serve this country,” Snee continued. “Everything you do is what you make of it, and I plan to make the most of this career and experience.”

Samford is a leading Christian university offering undergraduate programs grounded in the liberal arts with an array of nationally recognized graduate and professional schools. Founded in 1841, Samford is the 87th-oldest institution of higher learning in the United States. Samford enrolls 5,791 students from 49 states, Puerto Rico and 16 countries in its 10 academic schools: arts, arts and sciences, business, divinity, education, health professions, law, nursing, pharmacy and public health. Samford fields 17 athletic teams that compete in the tradition-rich Southern Conference and ranks 6th nationally for its Graduation Success Rate among all NCAA Division I schools.