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RichmondCC Nursing Student Wins Academic Excellence Award

Apr 1

April 1, 2024 – Second-year Associate Degree Nursing student Payton Chappell of Rockingham has been named Richmond Community College’s 2024 Academic Excellence Award winner.Payton Chappell stands in nursing lab.

Each college in the N.C. Community College System selects a student for an Academic Excellence Award, which recognizes a student for outstanding academic achievement.

Born and raised in Richmond County, 20-year-old Chappell will graduate with her nursing degree this May. Her dream is to work in intensive care.

“I have always known that I wanted to become a nurse. I enjoy caring for individuals and improving their health and wellness,” Chappell said. “Honestly, I’ve never considered pursuing any career other than nursing because of my desire to help others.”

She also has three other family members who graduated from the nursing program at RichmondCC, including her aunt, Lisa Wood.

“My aunt cared for my great-grandfather, Jessie Smith, during his end-of-life transition in 2020. Watching how she impacted his quality of life made my aspiration to become a nurse even greater,” Chappell said.

While a student at Richmond Senior High School, Chappell started working on her career plan. She took advantage of the dual enrollment program with RichmondCC and began taking classes that are prerequisites for the Associate Degree Nursing program. By the time she graduated high school in 2021, she had only one more year to complete required courses to be able to apply for the nursing program.

“The dual enrollment program gave me a jumpstart on my career, and I would recommend it to all high school students,” she said.

Chappell also would recommend RichmondCC’s nursing programs because of the instructors and how prepared she feels to begin her career.

“All the faculty members have served as advocates and mentors for me during my journey,” she said. “Although these past two years have been challenging, I feel this program is preparing me to be competent in providing high-quality, safe care to my future patients.”

Chappell plans on pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree once she has received her nursing license. She has taken advantage of the college transfer fairs hosted by RichmondCC’s Career & Transfer Advising Center to explore her options for an ADN to BSN program at a four-year school.

When she’s not immersed in her nursing studies, Chappell enjoys spending time outdoors, including relaxing with a good book or kayaking and fishing with family and friends.