ED Nurse Becomes Lieutenant Commander

Posted: April 13, 2021

Family Participates in Special Ceremony at Reserve Center

As an Emergency Department nurse, a husband, father and Navy reservist, Ryan Ching, R.N., has a full plate. But it all paid off recently for the 10-year employee when he was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant Commander in the Navy Reserves, after nearly 11 years of military service.

Ryan, who works in the ED at VacaValley Hospital, learned he was selected for the promotion last November, “but due to COVID-19 Ryan Ching, R.N., renews his oath before Commander Eric Cheung.we were not able to have any sort of big ceremony at that time.”

Eventually special accommodations were made and a small ceremony was held on March 13 at the Reserve Center in Alameda.

“That’s when I was able to renew my Oath of Office and accepted the title from Commander Eric S. Cheung.”

Ryan’s two sons, Gabriel, 6, and Lucas Alexander, 4, were honored to pin the new rank insignia onto their father’s uniform, an emotional moment for the boys and Ryan’s wife, Jessica Ching, R.N., who works at NorthBay Medical Center’s Emergency Department.

“Having the boys do the pinning was the most exciting part of the process,” he said.

Ryan and Jessica are not the only Ching family members to be part Ryan Ching, R.N., sharred his pinning ceremony with wife Jessica and sons (left to right) Lucas and Gabriel.of the NorthBay family. His mother, Rosana Cua Ching, works as a certified nursing assistant on Unit 1800; and his sister, Ruby Ching, R.N., works alongside Jessica in NorthBay Medical Center’s Emergency Department.

Not long after his promotion, Ryan was notified that he would be the officer in charge of his Reserve Unit in Alameda, leading 34 sailors in providing medical support to the reserve center of 600 sailors.

As part of his reserve duties, Ryan is required to spend two weeks a year working as a nurse for the Navy. He is also a veteran of Operation Enduring Freedom, having been deployed to Kandahar Airfield in Afghanistan.

“Being in the reserves does take time away from regular work at NorthBay and at times it has not been easy,” he said, “but for the most part management, and especially my coworkers, have been very supportive. They understand my responsibility to the reserves and at times have been my biggest cheerleaders! When I worked on Unit 1700 and was in combat training in Fort Jackson, South Carolina, I sent photos to my coworkers. The next thing I knew it was displayed in the lead’s office! My coworkers at the time also went on a ‘Tough Mudder’ event and carried a laminated picture of me along the course with them. I am very thankful to have a supportive team behind me!”

Hard work leads to success, Ryan said, and a military career can be rewarding.

“My family immigrated to America when I was 12. I worked all sorts of jobs from flipping burgers in Marine World, unloading trucks in Mervyn’s, to scrubbing toilets at the gas station.”

After graduating from nursing school in 2009, in the middle of a recession with jobs hard to find, Ryan decided to join the Navy reserves as a commissioned officer.

“I turned to the Navy initially for employment and to get experience. I signed on for three years and told myself I’d re-evaluate when the time comes... well, the time never came because commissioned officers do not have an end date to their contracts! And now it has turned to 11 years? I found that I really enjoyed the experience, the camaraderie, and being able to do something good for our nation.”


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