Friday, October 7, 2011

Germanna student realizes dream of becoming a registered nurse; sets goal for 4-year-old daughter

Mary Washington Hospital registered nurse Tiffany Henderson, above, credits Germanna with getting her where she wanted to go, career-wise.

Fredericksburg resident Tiffany Henderson, 26, had more than her own career in mind when she entered the Registered Nursing Program at Germanna Community College.
She wanted to be a good role model for her 4-year-old daughter, Aleah.
Henderson completed the RN program at Germanna in May, passed her state board exam, and is now a critical care nurse at Mary Washington Hospital.
She was in the Licensed Practical Nursing program at GCC she became pregnant with her daughter and left college. When her daughter was a couple of months old, she returned, entering the RN program.
For the past six years, she had worked as a registrar in the Mary Washington Hospital emergency room, watching others perform the job she longed to do herself.
“I definitely wanted to finish before Aleah started school—to focus on her studies and not my own.
“She asks me: ‘Mommy, are you going to work to make people feel better? Are you going to take people’s temperature?’ “
Henderson said she’d like Aleah to become a nurse, too.
“I wanted to set an example for her,” Henderson said, “to do something that will help her take care of herself in the future. She saw me go through the process. Children follow your example.”
Henderson said the GCC Nursing program: “gave me what I needed to reach my goal of becoming a registered nurse. I was ready when I took the state board exam. There were no surprises in the questions because of the way Germanna prepared us. I feel like I got what I paid for. I’m satisfied.”
She is one of nine critical care nurses at Mary Washington Hospital, all from the same class at Germanna.
GCC Assistant Professor of Nursing Debbie VanNortwick taught Tiffany in both clinical and classroom settings. “She consistently sought to understand the whole picture in order to develop critical thinking skills,” VanNortwick said. “In clinicals [live hospital settings], she was always kind to the patients and her coworkers. She demonstrated the ability to be a strong member of the health care team. She will be an asset to any organization.”
Dean of Nursing Mary Gilkey said: “Accounts like Tiffany’s are typical, especially in today's economy where many moms, dads, sons and daughters of all ages are working very hard to find a means to support their families.”
She said Germanna Nursing, and other programs, including GCC Workforce and career and technical studies: “are challenged to meet the ever-growing workforce needs of our region. It’s our hope that if families have not looked to Germanna to prepare them to fill job openings in growing fields that they take a second look and see just how we can be a means to affordably provide an education for career and lifetime educational choices.”

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