I worked as a pharmacy technician for years and although I enjoyed my job, I felt my calling was in the nursing profession. In 1999 my dedication and hard work paid off. I graduated from Nash Community College with an Associate’s Degree in Nursing. After graduation I worked in several areas before I found my passion, and that was working in labor and delivery.
While working in the nursery at Nash General Hospital, I became credentialed as a Certified Lactation Consultant. Working as a lactation consultant opened many doors for me to educate mothers. A door that was opened was that as the educator at Nash OB-GYN Associates, P.A. I worked as the perinatal educator for several years. I loved and enjoyed my job. Each day was a new learning experience. No two people are the same. I find pride in making others feel at ease and decreasing any anxiety they may have about a situation.
After a few years, I made the decision to return to school. My goal was to become a Certified Nurse Midwife (CNM). A CNM is the only advanced nurse practitioner role that can not only see patients in the office, but can obtain hospital privileges and deliver babies. The term “midwife” means “with woman”. Study after study reveals that education and support during labor improves birth outcomes. A CNM is considered a primary health care provider that can see females throughout their lives.
The decision to return to school did not come easy. I had three children at home and did not want to leave my current full-time job. I found that on-line classes worked best in my situation. I knew there would be a time in the future I could not work due to clinicals, but I would worry about that later.
Starting in 2008, I began on-line classes working toward my BSN. As soon as I finished my BSN, I applied for my graduate degree program. I wanted to keep up the momentum and stay in student mode. In the fall of 2010, I was accepted into the CNM program at East Carolina University.
Finally, in May of 2013, I graduated with a Master’s of Science of Nursing and passed the board exam as a Certified Nurse Midwife. The sleepless nights, balancing act of family, home, and work and the traveling for clinicals had paid off. It had been a long road since 2008.
My dream became reality when I was hired as a CNM for Nash OB-GYN Associates, P.A. It was nice to be back “home” with a work family that I am proud to be a part of. Thanks to NCC this dream was possible.
The Nash Community College Nursing Program prepared me for the future. I was given the knowledge and drive to become successful in my career. I am proud to be a graduate of NCC.
The road may seem long but time passes by quickly. I feel blessed to be where I am today. Each day brings knowledge. Learning cannot stop or you will be passed by. I love my career and the ability to contribute back to this community. Tomorrow is always a “new day” and I am thankful for each opportunity.
My goal for the future (when my children are older) is to complete my doctorate in nursing. Short-term goals are necessary and I always keep in mind “an elephant can be eaten, one bite at a time”.
Contributed by: NCC Alumna Amy Winstead