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CCCC nursing graduates find new home at Central Carolina Hospital

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Click to enlarge,  These six recent Central Carolina Community College graduates are now employees at Central Carolina Hospital. Pictured left to right are Vickie Edwards, Karen Wakefield, Jessica Brown, Amanda Baker, Stephanie Welton, and Payton Fowler.

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These six recent Central Carolina Community College graduates are now employees at Central Carolina ... (more)

08.17.2015Admin, Faculty & StaffCollege & CommunityCollege GeneralCurriculum Programs

SANFORD - Amanda Baker and Jessica Brown are among six of the May graduates of the Central Carolina Community College nursing program to secure jobs at Central Carolina Hospital in Sanford.

"CCCC well prepared me for my job at CCH," said Baker, from Pittsboro. "Although I still have plenty to learn, I feel like CCCC gave me a solid foundation to begin my nursing career. As I go through orientation and go on the floors of the hospital, I realize just how much I was taught while in school. There's new material, but so far it's all things that I've at least been exposed to."

Baker, who works with medical patients, surgical patients, pediatrics, and dialysis patients, said her CCCC education gave her confidence in working in a hospital atmosphere. "I am not the timid girl that I was when I first started in the nursing program," she said. "I am much more ready to be bold and step up to the tasks at hand and be an advocate for my patient."

Brown, from Sanford, already was working at CCH as a Certified Nursing Assistant - and is now working as an emergency room nurse. "I felt extremely prepared from day one walking into the hospital," said Brown. "All the clinical experiences and time spent reading and studying has given me confidence in practicing nursing."

David Loving, Chief Executive Officer of Central Carolina Hospital, says that the hospital accepted 11 nurse graduates from CCCC this year. "We have had good success with nurses that we have hired from CCCC," said Loving. "Many of our current nurses that have been with us for 20-plus years graduated from CCCC. CCCC graduates are well prepared by the excellent program and faculty. We work with CCCC with preceptor programs and coordinate with them to ensure a smooth transition for graduates in their employment here."

Barbara Campbell, chair of the CCCC nursing department, said that the CCCC nursing graduates are known for completing a rigorous program that adequately prepares them to provide care to the public. "They represent a standard of care," she said.

CCCC and CCH have developed a sound working relationship.

"We're thrilled to collaborate with the nursing program at CCCC and consider them family," said Loving. "We find that many students that obtain their education there fit in well here at CCH because of their desire to work in their own community, serving their friends and families."

Campbell noted that most of the nursing students live, go to school, and then go to work in the CCCC service area of Chatham, Harnett, and Lee counties. "I think CCCC being part of the community allows us to serve residents of the community and then find jobs in their same community, again serving people within their own community," said Campbell.

Lisa Baker, CCCC's Dean of Health Sciences, said that Central Carolina Hospital is a critical component of nursing education at the college. "CCH serves as a clinical rotation site, providing CCCC Associate Degree Nursing and Practical Nursing students with hands on experience that allows them to meet the educational objectives of our program," said Baker.

"CCH is also an important partner in supporting the CCCC Health Sciences Division by providing advisory board and program development feedback that directly meets the long-term and short-term health occupations training needs of our community and provides employment opportunities for our graduates," said Baker. "The unique relationship between CCCC and CCH continuously improves CCCC Health Sciences programs, the quality of our graduates, and ultimately the care that patients in our community receive."

Central Carolina Hospital aims to find nurses with both excellent skill and a compassionate heart, said Loving. "A positive patient experience requires well-rounded performance, and the CCCC graduates have a 'family treating family' approach that supports both their success and CCH's mission."

Baker and Brown are enjoying their new careers.

"I enjoy that every day is a new learning opportunity, and no two days will ever be the same," said Brown.

"I enjoy the way nursing pushes and challenges me as an individual. It makes me to step outside of my normal 'box' and to grow in my knowledge, critical thinking, and people skills," said Baker. "As challenging as it can be, though, it is even more of a blessing. Nursing gives me such a unique opportunity to touch lives and it is an experience that I would not trade despite the daily challenges that arise."

There continues to be a need for nurses.

"Nursing is an exciting career, so many choices of jobs, and is a field that is ever-changing with new cutting edge technology coming out every day! New opportunities are always available for personal advancement and education. A nurse is never bored, always learning, always growing and always respected," said Loving.

"The job market for nurses is wide open and will only grow wider as the 'baby boomers' begin to retire! Fact is that in 2013 - 55 percent of all nurses were over 50 and by 2020 the prediction is that the nursing shortage will be greater than 1 million!"

Baker and Brown both say that nursing is rewarding.

"Nursing isn't easy. It isn't glorious. It's not crisp white dresses and hats. It's not simply following around doctors and talking to patients. Nursing is a career where you will get personal with people in a way that you wouldn't have the opportunity to otherwise," said Baker. "Nursing allows you to reach out to others in a way you never would be able to otherwise. It is hard and it is challenging - but beyond anything else, it is such a blessing to not only others' lives but also to your own. Not much anything else could be so rewarding."

Brown said nursing is a career that you have to give your all. "It is emotional, stressful at times, but also is the most rewarding profession imaginable," said Brown. "If you can't imagine doing anything else in your life, then nursing is for you."

Loving notes CCH always feel confident in hiring the CCCC nurses because they have a proven track record of excellence. "They come to us well prepared. We know that CCCC has a near perfect pass rate on the NCLEX licensing exam and that their students come to us with strong clinical skills," he said.

"We have had a tremendous relationship with CCCC for many years and look forward to many more as we work together making our community a better place to live and work."

For more information on the CCCC nursing program, visit the website, or contact CCCC Lee County Admissions Specialist Teresa Mangum at 919-718-7313 or Harnett County Admissions Specialist Trinette Nichols-Jones at 910-814-8827.

Central Carolina Hospital is a 137-bed acute care hospital that serves the health care needs of Lee County and surrounding communities. With over 120 physicians, over 600 employees not including contracted staff, the hospital offers a wide range of specialties and services. For more information about Central Carolina Hospital, visit the website