Nursing Graduate Now Educating the Next Generation of Nurses
Jan. 8, 2020 – Sitting in a classroom at Richmond Community College in 1990, Practical Nursing student Nina Williams had no idea how far the skills she was learning would take her. Nearly 30 years later, she has a master’s and doctorate degree and is now educating other up and coming nurses.
“What a wonderful, thrilling, exciting, and rewarding adventure this has been, and this wonderful journey has its roots at Richmond Community College,” Williams said.
A native of Ellerbe, Williams is a professor at the University of North Carolina-Wilmington and a labor and delivery nurse at New Hanover Regional Medical Center in Wilmington. She earned a Master of Nurse Education from East Carolina University in 2015 and a Doctorate of Nursing Leadership from Gardner-Webb University in May 2019.
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While in school at RichmondCC, Williams was raising two small children and working in Ellerbe. However, the library at the College became her home away from home.
“In the era before we had professional research at our fingertips through the Internet, it was the library staff who toiled to ensure we were successful. And they toiled right along with me,” Williams said. “Truly, had it not been for the library and their tutors, becoming a nurse would have been much more difficult.”
Being a single mother with two young children and a low-paying job, Williams said she would be forever grateful for the assistance the staff in the College’s Financial Aid Office provided her.
“I struggled with finances,” she said. “The financial aid office steered me where I needed to go and how to navigate the maze of paperwork and forms.”
Williams said being a nurse is a calling, but that calling cannot be successful without the support of caring teachers and mentors. This is what Williams found at RichmondCC.
“Ms. McCormick was my primary teacher. Every day she brought to her class so much more than what the curriculum demanded. Every session she made every lesson very personal,” Williams said. “Her intent, along with Ms. Phyllis Caviness, was not only to help us learn what was in the books but also, they wanted us to absorb the necessity of translating book and classroom knowledge into patient care. For them, caring about students was the center of their instructional method.”
She said they not only continuously motivated and inspired her and her fellow classmates, but they also advised them on practical ways of dealing with family issues, time management concerns and balancing work schedules with school necessities.
“I am proud of my time at RichmondCC. It not only provided the foundation for my career, but it laid the framework for each accomplish throughout 30 years of service,” Williams said. “From RichmondCC, I learned the value of service before self. The faculty and staff put students first. Their devotion to our success is the same devotion we must use to be the best nurse we can for our future patients and for all of the adventures ahead.