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If you or a loved one have ever been in the hospital and received excellent nursing care, you know how much that impacted your life. That caring spirit is exactly what motivated Sara Pleasants Burdette, a Wiregrass graduate, to pursue her Nurse Practitioner Degree. Sara was among the Associate of Science in Nursing (RN) students at Wiregrass Georgia Technical College that helped the college earn the number one status in the state last year, according to Registered Nursing.org.
After graduating with her Associates in Science Degree in Nursing (RN) from Wiregrass in May of 2018, she successfully passed her state boards (NCLEX) the following month and started work as an RN in July of 2018. After Wiregrass, she started her nursing career at the Medical Center of Central Georgia- Navicent Health in Macon in the Surgical – Trauma Intensive Care Unit. “I’m still working in this unit. With the hospital being a “Level 1 Trauma Center,” as well as a Magnet-Designated, and teaching hospital – I have learned so much here and continue to learn every day,” shared Sara.
Sara shared that Wiregrass’ RN program prepared her for the job as a brand new nurse by giving her a solid foundation in nursing knowledge and skills to build upon as she entered the workforce. “After completing the program at Wiregrass, I felt well-prepared to sit for the Nursing State Board Exam (NCLEX-RN),” shared Sara. “The Wiregrass nursing instructors always went above and beyond to ensure that their students were knowledgeable and clinically competent. I always felt encouraged by my instructors and I am thankful for all the time and energy they put into helping me and my classmates succeed.” Dr. Darlene Ridley, Wiregrass Director of ASN Program, shared this about Sara, “She was one of those hard-working, dedicated students who completed all assignments with ease and accuracy, and never complained. She made it look easy!”
Sara’s passion for nursing has grown since being in field and has led her to pursue her Nurse Practitioner Degree. She feels she would have the ability to reach and care for a larger number of patients as a Nurse Practitioner. As an ICU nurse, the patient ratio is 1:2, meaning she’s only able to care for two patients at a time as a bedside nurse. “With my Nurse Practitioner, I will have the honor and ability to reach a larger population by contributing to their medical plan of care, treatments, and therapies,” shared Sara. She is currently enrolled at Walden University where she will complete her Master’s Degree to become an Adult Acute Care Nurse Practitioner – MSN. When Sara enrolled at Wiregrass she had already earned a bachelor’s degree. The master’s program will take her two and half years to complete. Future career goals are to work at a large teaching –style hospital where she can learn to implement her classroom knowledge in a clinical setting that allows her to gain skills and confidence as a practitioner.
When asked what kind of advice she would give anyone considering a career in nursing or the health care field she responded with, “Nursing is a beautiful profession for so many reasons. It’s both an art and a science.” She feels that in being a nurse there are so many positives, including you’ll always be able to find a job. In addition to job security, there is a wide range of nursing areas that can be a fit for many different personality types – the possibilities are endless. Sara shared this advice for those entering any kind of health care field: it just takes dedication to learning and a genuine compassion for others to be successful. Learning doesn’t end when you graduate; healthcare and nursing is ever-changing and requires nurses to be dedicated to being lifelong learners.