Megan Miller Protects, Serves and Heals as a Military Police Officer and Future Nurse
There are two distinct sides to Megan Miller.
There is her Army National Guard side. She enlisted in 2017 while she was still in high school and has served as a military police officer in deployments as far away as Cuba.
And there is her Seton Hill nursing student side. Megan entered Seton Hill in the spring of 2019 as a health sciences major, but changed to nursing after the program launched in the fall of 2019. She expects to graduate in May 2024, a graduation delayed a year by her Guard service.
While military police and nursing seem like two very different paths in life, Megan said her military side has shaped who she is as a whole.
“I think the military has made me a better student and a better person in general,” she said. “It broadened my horizons by meeting different people from different backgrounds. I feel more confident interacting with people and being unbiased and understanding of the different cultures and backgrounds that I’m going to see as a nurse.”
A 2018 graduate of Norwin High School, Megan is one of five sisters. Her parents, who had no military background, stressed that there were three ways they would be able to pay for college: scholarships, the military or paying back the debt themselves. While all five sisters pursued sports – particularly softball – as a means to earn scholarships, one by one they began turning to the military as a way to complete higher education. Her two older sisters entered the Navy and have used their benefits to fund their education. Her two younger sisters also went the military route; one is active duty in the Navy and the other is in the Air Force.
“The amount of support from Seton Hill has been tremendous. Everybody was so understanding ... I was nervous about losing skills and concepts, but when I came back my professors knew I’d been gone and provided the help I needed to pick up where where I left off.”
Megan initially was going to go the athletics route to pay for school and accepted a softball scholarship to Seton Hill. But between her verbal commitment and her high school graduation, she started to develop an interest in the military after seeing all of the places where her older sisters were traveling. After doing some research, Megan decided to enlist in the Pennsylvania Army National Guard. She entered basic training between her junior and senior years of high school and is now using her educational benefits at Seton Hill.
“I found out quickly that some of the best people that I will ever meet were through the military,” Megan said. “The connections I’ve made starting from training have been unreal. The sense of pride I developed for being a part of something bigger than myself was amazing.”
While she did play softball for the Griffins for a short time, she left the team to focus on her other responsibilities – including academics, her Guard duties and work. Because of her job training to be a military police officer, Megan missed the first semester of her freshman year and began her studies at Seton Hill in the spring of 2019. Her educational journey at Seton Hill took another pause in the summer of 2021 when she began a yearlong deployment to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, providing internal security on the base. While she volunteered for the opportunity, it resulted in a delayed graduation date. When she returned, Megan was welcomed by her new classmates in the second Seton Hill nursing class and will be graduating this spring.
“The amount of support from Seton Hill has been tremendous. Everybody was so understanding,” she said. “I was nervous about losing skills and concepts, but when I came back my professors knew I’d been gone and provided the help I needed to pick up where where I left off.”
Megan currently works at Independence Health System Westmoreland Hospital assisting patients on the cardiology floor and has re-enlisted in the National Guard through March 2025. Beyond that, she’s not sure where her military career will head – but she’s grateful for the experience.
“I do enjoy being a military police officer,” she said. “It’s a different career, but I feel like I’m just as passionate about that as I am nursing. It gives me purpose.”
Photo top: Megan (left) with fellow National Guard members during her military police job training.
Photo right: Megan displays the Army Achievement Medal she received on her deployment to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.