Richard Calkins was convinced to go into the medical field after one tragic night in Spain that changed his life and took him from a Navy job with top-secret clearance in cryptology to a family nurse practitioner position at Family Medicine Clinic in Copperas Cove.
A car accident — a single-vehicle rollover that occurred right in front of Calkins and his friends while stationed in Spain in 1993 — made him feel helpless. He did computers in the Navy, and there was this guy upside down in the car dying, and there was nothing he could do, as he wouldn’t have known what to do.
Calkins now knows that he would have had to stop a severe laceration to the accident victim’s jugular vein.
When he left the Navy after four years, Calkins went to Central Texas College and received his associate degree in nursing.
He worked for Scott & White from 1997-2002, when he decided to move to the emergency room at Fort Hood’s Darnall Army Medical Center, where he stayed until 2012.
Calkins was the nursing supervisor during the 2009 Fort Hood shootings, and he played an integral role in giving treatment to incoming patients. He notes that everyone in that hospital worked their hardest that night. Those events helped him fully realize that he could help save someone instead of watching helplessly.
During his time at Darnall, he received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in nursing from the University of Texas at Arlington in 2007 and 2011, respectively.
Because Calkins is a family nurse practitioner and had served as a nurse for more than a decade, he has a special connection to his patients.
He thinks his best attribute as a nurse practitioner is how he connects with people. Patients who see him at FMC Copperas Cove are treated like family.
He believes it is important for him to get involved and become an integral part of his community.
Mr. Calkins is president of the Copperas Cove Lions Club, on the board of directors for the Cove House homeless shelter, and a football team sports physician at Copperas Cove High School.
He also serves as an elder at his church Refuge Ministries and strives to keep Jesus’ healing ways in mind while caring for his patients at the clinic.
He bases everything on God and Jesus and how they want him to treat his patients, so he tries to treat everybody like they’re friends or family.
Working at FMC wasn’t always a consideration for the nurse practitioner. He thought he’d stay in the emergency room — until he had completed more than 800 ours of work in clinic preceptorship in Lampasas with FMC’s Dr. Mark Lane.
While completing clinic trials with Dr. Lane, he saw how well Dr. Lane knew and related to his patients and was fascinated by that. He noted how patients knew Dr. Lane and how deeply he knew them and the close relationships they had. That made Calkins decide to work at FMC.
The relationships formed between Calkins and his patients are something he finds very rewarding.
There is a special place in his heart for little kids. When kids want to come see you, that means you’re doing something right.
Mr. Calkins has a great sense of humor. His jokes and demeanor is a source of enjoyment for children, as he has the reputation of “clinic cut-up.” He notes that most of his patients have the same sense of humor and feels comfortable with him.
Mr. Calkins has been in the Copperas Cove area since his high school years when his parents moved and retired there. His wife Kenda was born in Lampasas and was reared in Copperas Cove.
The Calkins have four children: Kyle, Christian, Caleb, and Kirtsie.
Richard Calkins’ CV
- Unversity of Texas at Arlington — 2012
- Unversity of Texas at Arlington — 2007
- Central Texas College, Killeen, Texas — 1997
- Family Medicine Clinic, Copperas Cove — 2013-present
Family Nurse Practitioner
- Carl R. Darnall Medical Center, Fort Hood — 2008-2012
Evening Night Supervisor
- Carl R. Darnall Medical Center, Fort Hood — 2002-2008
ED Staffing/Night Charge Nurse
- Scott & White Hospital, Temple — 2000-2002
ED Nurse/Nurse Manager
- Scott & White Hospital, Temple — 1998-2000
ED Staff Nursing
- Scott & White Hospital, Temple — 1997-1998
Medical/Surgical Charge/Staff Nurse
- American Nurse Credentialing Center, Board Certified — 2012
- Metroplex Health System, Killeen, Texas
- Department of Army Civilian Achievement Medal — 2010
- Department of Army Civilian Achievement Medal — 2005
- Nurse Excellence Award/Nurse of the Quarter — 2005
- Residents Choice Emergency Nurse of the Year — 2004
- Nurse of the Year Award — 1999
PROFESSIONAL SERVICE/PROFESSIONAL ORGANIZATIONS
- Phi Kappa Phi Member — 2011-present
- Sigma Theta Tau Member — 2007-2008
- Emergency Nurses Association Member — 1998-2002
- National League of Nurses Member — 1997-1998
- Carl R. Darnall Peel Review Member — 2008-present
- Scott & White Ethics Committee Member — 2000-2002
- Scott & White Quality Assurance and Improvement Committee Member — 1998-2000