USU Student Pursues Nurse Practitioner Path to Give Back, Inspire Others

Regine Faucher and a group of children

By Sharon Holland

As a child growing up in Haiti, Regine Faucher was surrounded by poverty, political strife and fear. But through determination, strength and a will to succeed, the Army captain is now on her way to earning a Doctor of Nursing Practice degree as a nurse practitioner, while also inspiring and giving back to others. 

Faucher, a class of 2023 student in the Uniformed Services University’s Daniel K. Inouye Graduate School of Nursing nurse practitioner program, was born in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, where day to day living was often challenging, and where threats to safety and security was a way of life. Her family members, including her mother, were often the target of kidnappers seeking ransom in exchange for their freedom. It was not an environment that would allow her to advance and flourish, and as she grew up and had a child of her own, Faucher sought a better life in a more stable and safe environment. 

Regine Faucher and President Bill Clinton
Regine Faucher, a medic and cultural specialist for 
a 2010 deployment to Haiti, met President Clinton
while she served in the Humanitarian Assistance
Coordinating Center to help assess Haiti's needs.
(Photo credit: Regine Faucher)
She was able to immigrate to the United States in 2003, along with- her daughter, younger brother and sister. Faucher’s first stop was southern Florida, where she found support and easily assimilated into the large Haitian community near Miami. At first, she says, it was very difficult – at times she worked up to three jobs just to sustain her family. She also had difficulties adjusting to the cultural differences, but she persevered. She enrolled in a technical school in Hollywood, Florida, where she completed a home health aide program. With that experience, she was able to find a stable job, which also allowed her to go back to school for a patient technician certificate with phlebotomy and EKG, followed by practical nursing. The next year, she started attending Miami Dade Community College (MDCC) with the intent of earning an Associate degree in Nursing. 

A decade earlier, while she was still in Haiti, Faucher says the U.S. military came to her country for Operation Restore Democracy. The sight had a profound impact on her and the experience stayed with her. Later, in 2006, as a student at MDCC, Faucher was approached by a military recruiter offering her the opportunity to enlist.

“The promise of a steady income, insurance for my family and a roof over my head, coupled with that memory from my youth [of the U.S. military] was the basis for my decision. I enlisted in September 2016 through the delayed entry program and left for basic training on February 22, 2007,” Faucher says. 

As an Army medic, Faucher worked as an ophthalmology tech. She deployed in 2010 as a medic and cultural specialist back to Haiti, where she was on the other side of the U.S. humanitarian efforts following the devastating earthquake that ravaged the country. She was assigned to the Embassy where she served in the Humanitarian Assistance Coordinating Center, helping to assess the country’s needs, working the logistical distribution of all the assistance coming into the country, and facilitating interactions with dignitaries of both countries. 

She continued to pursue her education through the Army’s Enlisted Commissioning Program, while assigned to the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center. In 2012, she graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree from the University of Maryland, Baltimore. She was then commissioned, and served as a staff nurse on a telemetry unit, in neurology and case management at Walter Reed. 

Regine Faucher with a small crowd of people in Kosovo
Faucher deployed to Kosovo to assist with various humanitarian efforts, including engaging with the community of Kosovo. (Photo credit: Regine Faucher)

Faucher deployed to Kosovo in 2016 and served with the 14th Combat Support Hospital as its Nursing Officer in Charge for a 10-month NATO mission. She was responsible for the nursing care of more than 1,200 NATO forces, DoD civilians, and contractors and served as a Sexual Assault Medical Forensic Examiner. After the deployment, she assisted with Hurricane Maria humanitarian efforts in Puerto Rico and coordinated the deployment of equipment and served as an interface between FEMA and unit leadership to facilitate the response. 

But, Faucher was not finished with her educational goals. In 2018, she earned a Master of Arts degree in Management with a concentration in Public Administration from American Military University and a Graduate Certificate in Emergency and Disaster Management in 2019. 

Faucher describes her path to becoming a nurse practitioner as a “natural progression.”

“I debated between the PhD [program], because I have a love for teaching, and the Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) for a couple of years. But I think I enjoy the clinical side so very much that I felt I would miss that if I opted for the PhD. I really love helping others and being there for them in any capacity they need at the time they are under my care (holding their hands, helping with activities of daily living, alleviating their pain, or in more acute setting taking care of them during their hospital stay),” she says. 

Faucher says the USU Nurse Practitioner DNP program offers her a number of benefits that other nurse practitioner programs can’t. 

“Although it’s not the greatest reason, not having to worry about working while in the program is a great plus. Furthermore, I think the level of education and commitment from the faculty is hors pair,” Faucher says. “The number of clinical hours we are afforded and the peace of mind of not having to look for that is an immeasurable added bonus.” Her planned DNP project will focus on the lasting effect of the COVID-19 pandemic and vaccine roll-out on Service members in the pre-deployment preparation phases. She says her scholarly interests surround access to care and diabetes management for under-served communities, especially Veterans, along with emergency and disaster preparedness.

Regine Faucher aboard a medivac helicopter. Faucher has had numerous experiences during her time in the military, and consistently finds ways to inspire and give back to others as she continues her journey. (Photo credit: Regine Faucher)
Regine Faucher aboard a medivac helicopter. Faucher has had numerous experiences during her time in the military, and consistently finds ways to
inspire and give back to others as she continues her journey. (Photo credit: Regine Faucher)

Faucher is on track to graduate in May 2023, and once she leaves USU, she will serve as a primary care provider in one of the military treatment facilities. In addition to caring for patients, she also wants to inspire and pay her experiences forward to enlisted Service members. 

“I would really love to have an opportunity also to work with entry level Soldiers as they are not often exposed to senior medical providers except when they are sick or getting administratively separated for injuries. I feel like we can do better about retaining our Service members and educating the young generations about opportunities that exist in the medical field. I was fortunate enough to benefit from these programs twice (the Army Enlisted Commissioning Program for nursing and the Long-Term Health Education Training program for my doctorate at USU).”

Faucher is deeply appreciative of the doors that have opened to her through her military experiences. 

“I am eternally grateful to the military for the many opportunities I have been given throughout, but more importantly, for this awesome and exceptional family I have gathered along the way. As a single mother and immigrant new to this country, this Army family supported me and encouraged me and believed in me when I didn’t believe in myself.”