Growing up, Nate Hughes had two goals, being an athlete and to be a doctor. He can now say he has done both, something many people wish to accomplish. t
In 2008, Hughes graduated from Alcorn State University with a BS in Nursing. After doing so, he started his NFL pursuit as a walk on with he Jacksonville Jaguars. He was successful, making the team and playing in the NFL for 4 years. He played with the Jags for 3 years (2008 - 2011) and spent 1 year with the Detroit Lions (2011 - 2012).
Hughes has said, “In the NFL we say the NFL stands for Not For Long. I used my off seasons not only for training, but volunteering and working as a nurse. I continued to work as a nurse after retiring from the NFL.” On top of being a wide receiver, Hughes was a register nurse. Hughes entered the NFL with a plan for when the playing days were over.
In 2015, he graduated from the University of Mississippi with his Master of Science in Nursing. Hughes said, “I was able to save money to help fund school. Some people think all NFL players make millions, but that’s not the case. Most undrafted players sign for league minimum, which is still great money, just not the millions people think.”
When speaking on his move from the NFL to med school he said the switch was not difficult. “There are so many similarities between being a professional athlete and a medical school student. These similarities include a competitive environment, long work hours, attention to details, lots of studying, and pushing your body beyond what you thought was imaginable.”
Hughes will begin an anesthesia residency on July 1st, with the expectation to finish the residency by 2023. His first year will be completed at the University of Mississippi Medical Center and the last 3 years will be completed at Rutgers.