Mesa native a proud OB-GYN nurse in U.S. Navy The Mesa Tribune | The Hometown Newspaper for the city of Mesa, AZ

Mesa native a proud OB-GYN nurse in U.S. Navy

December 27th, 2020 Mesa Tribune Staff

U.S. Navy Office of Community Outreach

U.S. Navy Lt. Daria Seipeltyra said she knew two things from a very young age; she wanted to be a nurse, and she wanted to join the United States Navy.

“My dad was in the Navy, and I always knew I wanted to join,” said the 2002 graduate of Mountain View High School and 2015 graduate of Phoenix’s Chamberlain College of Nursing.

“I joined the Navy with nursing in mind, too, though my path to the Nurse Corps wasn’t exactly conventional.”

Seipeltyra was recently named Navy Medical Readiness Training Command Bremerton’s Junior Officer of the Quarter, one of several quarterly categories used to recognize high-performing junior officers, enlisted sailors and civilian employees who stand out from others in similar ranks.

Being recognized as the JOQ identifies the recipient as a prime example of
the Navy’s core values of honor, courage and commitment, along with the command’s standards of care, competence and compassion.

Seipeltyra said she supposes it means she’s doing something right.

“As leaders, we just hope that all the choices we make are the right ones, and a little validation that you’re heading in the right direction never hurts,” she said, adding:

“I like to think I’m the epitome of a positive, approachable, servant leader. How can I help? How can I make you more successful? When people know you’re there for them, they are more comfortable and happier doing their jobs. Happy people are more productive people, and the work environment improves drastically. It’s just that simple.”

Currently the OB-GYN division officer at NMRTC Bremerton, Seipeltyra is a self-proclaimed Navy kid.

She was born in Florida, but calls Arizona home.

She said her 11-year naval career has mirrored her father’s, as both father and daughter began their naval careers as enlisted Sailors.

“I liked the idea of being an enlisted Sailor first,” she said. “I liked the idea of the experience I’d gain from it, but I always intended on commissioning as a nurse. My dad was enlisted first, too, as what would be considered an electronics technician today. As a first class petty officer, he commissioned as a pilot. He passed away during night operations in the Persian Gulf. His plane had mechanical malfunctions. He was a lieutenant commander with 21 years of service. That will most likely be my rank upon my completion of service, further enforcing my career mirroring his.”

As for Seipeltyra, her Navy story didn’t begin in the medical field.

“My enlisted rating chose me,” she said. “I had wanted to be a corpsman, but it didn’t work out, so I became a fire controlman. I was lucky enough to be able to promote quickly and, like my dad, was a first class petty officer when I commissioned.”

Seipeltyra’s journey to Nurse Corps commissioning began almost immediately after enlisting via application to the Medical Enlisted Commissioning Program (MECP), a specific pathway for enlisted Navy and Marine Corps to commission in the Navy Nurse Corps.

“I’m sure fire controlman is a great job, but I knew what I wanted. I wasted no time in submitting an MECP package,” said Seipeltyra. “Couple that with the fact that after ‘A’ school, I was selected to serve as the executive assistant to the command master chief of Naval Station Great Lakes, and you have a perfect storm of not ever being able to practice as a fire controlman.

“MECP is extremely competitive as it’s open to any enlisted member in the Navy or Marine Corps. Several hundred people apply every year, but they only choose 30-40 applicants a year. I spent nine months doing volunteer work at the local Veterans Affairs clinic and other resources gathering experience and hours to make a competitive package. While at Great Lakes, I was selected and attended nursing school in Arizona.”

After nursing school and her commissioning as a naval officer, Seipeltyra worked as a staff and charge nurse in the Mother Infant Unit of Naval Medical Center San Diego before transferring to NMRTC Bremerton and working briefly as a staff nurse in the hospital’s multi-service ward.

As the current OB-GYN division officer, Seipeltyra said she has found her calling. In her words, “the OB-GYN clinic guides patients through some of the most challenging and exciting changes in their lives, whether that be helping them bring new life into their family, or guiding them through the changes that naturally come with advancing years, and doing so with the utmost competence and compassion.”

“I was able to fall into my dream job here,” she said. “I have loved every minute of this role. I just love the patient connection. Having a patient come back and remember you being their nurse, even after having transferred to a new command, sharing those memories, is such an amazing experience.”

Like many essential workers around the country, NMRTC Bremerton staff divined new and inventive ways of delivering top-notch healthcare to beneficiaries amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Seipeltyra said her staff have acclimated to this new climate with poise and professionalism their beneficiaries have come to expect.

“Our overall routine hasn’t changed tremendously,” said Seipeltyra. “We just have remained vigilantly flexible, with frequent schedule changes and adapting to the latest policies to ensure we are doing the most to protect everyone. Our providers stay current to the moment as knowledge is gained on how this pandemic affects our specific patient population.”

COVID-19 has certainly changed the way Americans go about their respective business, but according to Seipeltyra, at least one thing hasn’t changed.

“Babies don’t stop,” she said when summarizing her role at the hospital during a pandemic. “Healthcare doesn’t go on pause because of a pandemic. Now, more than ever, we have needed a constant presence to ensure the very busy clinic runs smoothly. On a regular day, someone needs to be the watchful eye that hovers over schedules, lingers on paperwork, has ears open to the front desk, guards the privacy of our patients and safety of our staff, all in addition to calming nervous minds. That is my job.”

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