Meagan Harrington, a Pacesetter BSN student at Cizik School of Nursing at UTHealth Houston, is a competitive shooter setting her sights on a nursing career.
This summer, Harrington won the women’s world championship title at the 2021 World FITASC Sporting Parcours De Chasse Championship held in Hungary. Just a few months later, she won the title of Ladies National Champion at the 2021 National Sporting Clays Championship, held at the National Shooting Complex in San Antonio.
“These are the two biggest titles any shooter could win and I won them in the same year. That has only been done once before, so I feel very blessed,” she said.
Harrington clearly doesn’t do anything halfway. She began taking piano lessons at age 5, won several competitions, and performed at Carnegie Hall.
She grew up on a ranch near Corpus Christi, and when she was 8, her older brother began competing in sporting clay shooting competitions through the local 4-H club. As little sisters often do, Harrington wanted to follow her big brother’s footsteps. She convinced her family to buy her a shotgun as well. “As soon as I pulled the trigger, I knew that I was hooked,” she said.
For a few years, she played piano and competed in shooting simultaneously. By the time she was 12, she focused her competitive energies on shooting.
“I still play piano for fun. I never want to lose that skill,” she said.
Harrington received her Bachelor of Science in public health at Texas A&M University. A talk by a nurse anesthetist on the many available careers offered in the nursing field piqued her interest.
“I decided this was indeed the better option for me,” Harrington said. She is considering pediatric or emergency nursing, or eventually becoming a nurse anesthetist.
She also drew inspiration from the nurses who cared for her grandfather, who passed away after suffering a stroke.
“The nurses were always compassionate and gave all the necessary information to my family during this difficult time. They were there through the whole process and made it much easier to navigate,” Harrington said. “This memory confirmed my decision that nursing was the correct career move for me as I want the one-to-one patient interactions and to be a trustworthy confidant for both patients and their families when they feel must vulnerable.”
Harrington is taking a break from competitive shooting to focus on her studies, and she believes her skills developed through the sport will help her become successful as a nurse.
“In shooting, you have to focus and trust yourself, and if you can do this under pressure, you will win,” she said. “My ability in shooting will translate very well when it comes to being a nurse.”