Tammy King’s nursing career has taken her to nearly every floor of a hospital since she graduated from Sampson Community College in 1993. It began on a medical floor at Southeastern Regional Medical Center in Lumberton, NC, to Sampson Regional Medical Center here in Clinton, where she started in the emergency department. She then headed to the Intensive Care Unit, then Infection Control and Employee Care—the list goes on and on. Now, she serves as Chief Nursing Officer, where she oversees the nursing department and ensures best nursing practices are implemented in the hospital, along with several other duties.
As a nursing student at SCC, King struggled to find her footing. The guidance of excellent instructors helped her gain that missing confidence. King stated, “Whenever I started my first couple of clinical rotations, I was kind of having second thoughts because I hadn’t had a whole lot of experience coming into the hospital environment. The instructors took me under their wing and helped to alleviate my fears and helped me to grow as a student.”
Wanda Capps, Vice President of Academic Affairs at SCC and King’s former nursing instructor, says that it has been rewarding to see King grow into the nurse that her instructors always envisioned her as. Capps remarked, “Tammy is just one of the many nurses who makes SCC proud and our community a better place. She possesses and models the true and caring characteristics of a dedicated nurse and healthcare team member.”
King credits Sampson Community College for introducing the foundational skills of nursing that kickstarted her career and allowed her to grow as a student and young nurse. More importantly, she says SCC allowed her to learn from skilled instructors who taught students the significance of being good nurses. “They instilled those values of making sure that our patients come first. That whatever we’re doing, we do the best we can, and we provide good quality care,” King added. Instructors urged students to go beyond the medicine.
In a way, that is what the Simulation Lab partnership between SCC and Sampson Regional Medical Center is intended to do. Students are urged to look at the whole picture: patient needs, patient care, and patient comfort.
Though the Simulation Lab project began prior to King taking her role as Chief Nursing Officer, she has worked closely with the development of the project since she assumed the role. The lab is exceptional because it benefits current SCC nursing students and SRMC employees.
King noted, “It allows us to provide education and continue training in a very safe environment. Staff are training for types of patients, scenarios, and conditions and they’re able to do that where if something goes wrong, we’re not going to harm a patient. The more we facilitate learning on those real-life examples the better they’ll be able to respond in real life.”
For King, the goals of the Simulation Lab all go back to what she learned as a young nursing student—to put patient needs and quality of care above all else. At SCC, King received the foundational knowledge for a successful career. “It allowed me to grow and expand and set that foundation,” she expressed.
About Sampson Community College: Sampson Community College is a member of the North Carolina Community College System, located in Clinton, NC in Sampson County. The college offers many programs to include two-year degrees, college transfer, continuing education and workforce development options and early college education.