SCC Helps Fulfill Educational Aspirations for Students
Sometimes the path to a college education can be a long and winding road.
Plans change, interests transform and the process is often clouded with decisions and commitments that must be made.
Katrina Scott, a nursing student at Sandhills Community College, readily identifies with the difficulties facing today's students when it comes to pursuing higher education.
She worked hard in high school and was awarded a full scholarship to High Point College while a senior at Union Pines High School. She was inspired to put forth a good effort by a brother who was born deaf, but overcame many obstacles.
Personal circumstances forced her to delay enrolling in college, and her educational plans were postponed for several years. After high school, she became employed, and she and her husband, Justin, have been raising their son, Jayden.
Her desire to attend college remained strong. After a rocky start, she enrolled at Sandhills in the fall of 2007. Scott and the daughter of Dr. Suzanne Adams, vice president of student services at Sandhills, were classmates at Union Pines, and Adams continues to motivate Scott.
"Katrina has always been very self-directed," she said. "Her positive attitude is contagious."
Scott is studying to become a licensed practical nurse.
"We're conducting clinicals at FirstHealth in orthopedics right now," she said. "Next semester, we will be studying post-partum, but unfortunately, this comes a little late for me, as my son is 3 years old."
Along the way, Scott has taken three years of Spanish instruction and has managed to become quite fluent. She works at Chick-Fil-A, alongside several Hispanics, which has broadened her scope in the language.
Scott's manager at Chick-Fil-A speaks highly of her.
"Katrina is hard working, dedicated and provides great customer service," Brenda Ivy said. "She goes above and beyond to help out both employees and customers, and she always knows what Dr. Adams, a Chick-fil-A regular, orders for lunch."
Scott's future plans include enrolling at Winston-Salem State University to pursue a bachelor's degree after she completes her studies at Sandhills. She is also motivated to obtain her master's degree someday.
Nursing students at Sandhills Community College benefit from the department's combination of an impressive faculty and a strong relationship with FirstHealth, where Sandhills students conduct clinicals. FirstHealth is also the leading employer of the college's nursing students.
The college has 63 nursing scholarships, which average $1,250 each, as well as an additional 129 general scholarships, averaging $850 each. The college's Department of Financial Aid can provide additional resources to students that can offset the cost of their education.
Students who graduate from the nursing program at Sandhills can take advantage of the profession's "career ladder."
"Our students can complete the practical nursing program, pass the NCLEX-PN, and find employment," said Star Mitchell, chairperson of the Department of Nursing at Sandhills. "Some transition into our associate degree program, which prepares them for the NCLEX-RN. After passing the NCLEX-RN, most find employment, while others choose to earn their bachelor's degree on our main campus through our affiliation with UNC-Pembroke.
"Others work toward their bachelor's degrees at universities like UNC-Chapel Hill, UNC-Greensboro, UNC-Wilmingon or East Carolina University."
The demand for qualified nurses far exceeds the supply. The increasing needs of an aging elderly population, along with a large number of the nation's nurses who are approaching retirement age, are both contributing factors to the shortage of nurses.
A report from the Labor Market Division of the N.C. Employment Security Commission documented the nursing shortage in the state. Projections estimate that the need for registered nurses will grow by 33.42 percent between 2002 and 2012. In particular, the tri-county region of Moore, Montgomery and Richmond counties is estimated to produce an average of 90 job openings each year for registered nurses.
The report also indicated that home health aid is the most rapidly growing occupation in North Carolina, with a 45.1 percent growth projected between 2002 and 2012.
SCC's Department of Nursing enjoys one of the best reputations in the state for training students, and the percentage of graduates who pass the NCLEX-PN and NCLEX-RN is typically at or above state average.
All nursing graduates who seek employment experience a 100 percent employment rate upon passage of their licensure exam, the college said in a news release.
The Department of Nursing also offers therapeutic massage. Graduates are able to become massage therapists upon passing the national certification exam for therapeutic massage and bodywork.
Sandhills provides other health-related fields of study through its Department of Health Sciences. Students can choose from an associate in applied science degree in emergency medical science, medical laboratory technology, radiography, respiratory therapy, polysomnography and surgical technology. Surgical technology also offers a diploma.
The Department of Continuing Education offers three medically related certificates: phlebotomy technician, EKG technician and medication aide.
Anyone needing more information on careers in nursing or other medical fields can contact Sue Senior at 695-3922 or email@example.com.
The Division of Continuing Education can be reached at 695-3980.
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