[Clinton, N.C.]- From May 6-10, 2024, Sampson Community College (SCC) joins the public in honoring both educators and healthcare workers during National Teacher Appreciation and National Nurses Week. In celebration of nurses, meet some of the faces currently impacting SCC’s nationally accredited Associate Degree Nursing (ADN) program- a curriculum making a difference in Sampson County healthcare for over 50 years.

Dr. Alexandria “Allie” Apperson, DHSc, BSN, RN, SCC Dean of Health Sciences 

In January 2024, SCC’s Healthcare Division underwent administrative changes as Dr. Allie Apperson was promoted to Dean of Health Sciences upon the retirement of Dr. Veronica Stevens. A graduate of Midway High and Campbell University, Apperson remarked that the “ability to directly impact and improve the lives of patients through compassionate and evidence-based care” led her to pursue a career in nursing, and ultimately, health education.

Since 2018, Apperson has worked for WakeMed Raleigh and ECU Health in both L&D and Reproductive Endocrinology, before applying to SCC in 2022. Now, she enjoys providing academic support, mentorship, and career and professional development to nursing students.

Through her leadership, Apperson hopes students not only gain the knowledge, skills, and abilities necessary to be “compassionate, competent, and collaborative nurses,” but also develop confidence in their abilities as they become “advocates for their patients and leaders in their roles.”

Dr. Stephanie Springs, DNP, MSN, RN, SCC Dept. Chair of Nursing

Upon the new appointment of Apperson to Dean of Health Sciences, in January 2024, Dr. Stephanie Springs assumed the position of Department Chair of Nursing at SCC. Born and raised in Sampson County and a former graduate of SCC’s Practical Nursing program, Springs was inspired to pursue healthcare after her son required surgery at a UNC Children’s Hospital. The nurses who cared for him, she explained, truly “planted the seed” for her life-long nursing career.

Since 2006, Springs has worked for Liberty Healthcare, ECU Health, and Mary Gran Nursing Center before applying to SCC in 2018. Now, she enjoys instructing PN and ADN students, connecting with them through her shared program experiences.

Springs also prides herself on ensuring that her door is “always open” to students, whether morning or night. Ultimately, she hopes her pupils learn that nursing is more than simply “passing medications,” but truly a “commitment to quality care and compassion to those in their community or the area they serve.”

Yolanda Gonzalez, SCC Associate Degree Nursing Student

A student in SCC’s ADN program, Yolanda Gonzalez initially enrolled at SCC in 2015 with an interest in ESL and Adult Basic Education courses, working to obtain her GED. Growing up, she always dreamt of pursuing a career in healthcare, but never had the opportunity to receive the schooling she needed.

A native of Mexico, Gonzalez was raised by a single mother and was brought to the United States at a young age—working since she was 16 years old. With a desire to return to school and lead her three children “by example,” Gonzalez began teaching herself English through reviewing her daughter’s homework. In 2018, she received her GED from SCC and gave the commencement speech in both English and Spanish.

Now, she plans to graduate from the nursing program in Spring 2024, with plans to pursue her BSN and potentially enroll in CRNA school. To Gonzalez, the nursing program has shown her that “there is always an opportunity to grow” and that “regardless of your background, economic status, or nationality; anything is possible if you have the desire of achieving your dreams.”

Franklin Shipp, SCC Associate Degree Nursing Student

Returning to SCC in 2023, Franklin Shipp originally obtained his general education electives at SCC in 1998 before transferring to ECU to earn his B.S. in Industrial Distribution and Logistics. A graduate of Clinton High, he went on to work in medical logistics in NYC, later serving as a U.S. Air Force Medical Logistics Officer.

Through his position, Shipp commanded units in medical treatment facilities across the U.S. and deployed to Japan to provide support in Aeromedical Evacuation. He explained that the “influential women” in his life led him to pursue a career change, especially his younger sister who is a former graduate of the ADN program.

According to Shipp, one of the many “attractive reasons” for returning to SCC was the opportunity to bridge into BSN online programs, allowing him to practice nursing as he pursues his undergraduate degree. In his eyes, SCC was truly the start of his “global journey” that ultimately led him back to Sampson County to serve in healthcare, because “there is no place like home.”

Kylie Daughtry, SCC Associate Degree Nursing Student

A second-generation nursing student at SCC, Kylie Daughtry was inspired to follow in her mother’s footsteps after unexpectedly losing her father to a heart attack in 2017. The care and comfort shown by the EMS officers on the scene motivated her to “care for others as a nurse,” almost two decades after her mother graduated from the ADN program in 1993.

According to Daughtry, she realized during her senior year of high school that a “four-year university was not for me” and that she “wanted to stay close to home” to pursue her healthcare career. Now, she currently serves as a CNA at SRMC, planning to continue her work there after graduation and obtain her BSN.

In Daughtry’s eyes, her experience in SCC’s ADN program has disproven the negative stigma surrounding community colleges, showing her that “students do not have to start out at a four-year university in order to be successful.”

Sampson CC extends its immense gratitude each of the faculty and staff who continuously dedicate themselves to ensuring the success of its nursing program and students. The College is proud to have the opportunity to graduate new generations of nurses each year, many of whom continue on to work locally within healthcare in Sampson County or in surrounding areas. To all of the faculty, staff, and students who have been apart of the nursing program at SCC- thank you for your service and impact.

For more information about the Associate Degree Nursing (ADN) program, visit www.sampsoncc.edu/adn. To learn more about other healthcare-related programs, visit www.sampsoncc.edu/healthcare

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. SCC is committed to the principles of equal educational and employment opportunities for all.

The Associate Degree and Practical Nursing programs at Sampson Community College located in Clinton, NC are accredited by: Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN) 3390 Peachtree Road NE, Suite 1400 Atlanta, GA 30326, Phone: (404) 975-5000

The most recent accreditation decision made by the ACEN Board of Commissioners for the Associate Degree and Practical Nursing programs is Continuing Accreditation.

The Associate Degree and Practical Nursing programs are given full approval by: North Carolina Board of Nursing (NCBON) 4516 Lake Boone Trail Raleigh, NC 27607, Phone: (919) 782-321