An expert in emergency room critical care, Beryl Kay Pixley, MSN, RN, SANE-P, came from a military family, which later gave her the motivation to pursue her professional career in nursing and education. First enlisting as a private in the U.S. Army in 1974, she served in this rank for two years before becoming a staff nurse at Fitzsimons Army Medical Center in Aurora, Colorado, from 1976 to 1978 and first lieutenant in the Army Nurse Corps from 1976 to 1979. Moving up the ranks to the roles of captain, major, and lieutenant colonel, she then joined Ireland Army Community Hospital in Fort Knox, Kentucky, as a staff nurse from 1979 to 1981, also serving as head nurse for one year. Two years later, Ms. Pixley worked as a nurse counselor in the Fourth Recruiting Brigade of the St. Louis Recruiting Battalion from 1983 to 1985.
Continuing her service, Ms. Pixley was a staff nurse and assistant head nurse at the 121st EVAC Hospital in Seoul, Korea, before serving Branch III of the Academy of Health Sciences at Fort Sam Houston, Texas, as G section chief and chief combat medical specialist. The clinical head nurse of the U.S. Army clinic/ambulance section of Schofield Barracks in Hawaii for two years, she soon took on her first teaching position as a nurse instructor in nursing education and staff development at Tripler Army Medical Center in 1991. Directing the critical care nursing course at Brooke Army Medical Center from 1992 to 1995, she ultimately retired from her military service later that same year.
Assuming her new role as a full-time educator, Ms. Pixley taught at the Health Institute of San Antonio from 1995 to 1999 and was a float nurse at CCN/ER OMV Medical Inc. from 1999 to 2001. Having accrued 27 years of professional experience up to this point, she served her final positions as a PRN nurse in the emergency department ER at Tennessee Medical Center in 2001, and a critical care emergency room nurse at Alvin C. York Medical Center from 2001 until her retirement in 2015.
As an educator, Ms. Pixley would teach students from enlisted to officer rankings. She taught pre-hospital care to enlisted care including the medical NCO course, which consists of troops that give care in the field to graduate-level nursing students. Prior to pursuing a professional career in the military, Ms. Pixley attended Wabash Valley Junior College, earning an Associate of Science in 1973. She then sought out further formal education at Murray State University, where she received a Bachelor of Science in Nursing in 1976. She went on to obtain a Master of Science in Nursing from the University of Texas Health Science Center in 1982, and became a certified sexual assault examiner.
In recognition of her myriad achievements, Ms. Pixley was the recipient of the Meritorious Service Medal and Legion of Merit Military Medical Service Award. What has kept her motivated through her many years of nursing is the patient interaction. Today, Ms. Pixley has switched her focus to her local church, where she is involved with the women’s group. Likewise, she has stepped up as the church’s chairperson of the administrative counsel committee, membership secretary, treasury secretary, and secretary of the corporation. Moving forward, she would like to be remembered by her students, staff, and patients as someone who listened to and cared about people.