Beginning at Sampson Community College (SCC) in 2018, Valerie Miller is a 2020 graduate of the Associate Degree Nursing (ADN) program who returned to school after taking over a decade off to help raise her family. Mom of four, she now works locally at Sampson Regional Medical Center (SRMC) as an ICU nurse.
Native to Rome, Georgia, Miller went on to obtain her Master’s in Public Health after graduating from Chattahoochee High School in 1993. In August 2015, her family moved to North Carolina after her husband, local physician Dr. John-Mark Miller, accepted a position at SRMC. Together they have four children, two of whom also completed classes at SCC before transferring.
For around seventeen years, Miller worked as a stay-at-home mom to help raise her family. She later worked for a contracting company for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) before enrolling at SCC in 2018.
Though she already completed a graduate degree in public health, Miller explained that she decided to return to school at SCC because she needed a certain licensure for her work. However, she ultimately fell in love with nursing instead.
Miller elaborated, “I really wanted to be a health educator and coach. To do so, you had to have a licensure to work with people. You needed a nursing licensure, or anything else. I chose nursing and I ended up falling in love with it.”
After graduating from SCC in 2020 with her ADN, Miller transferred to obtain her Bachelor’s of Science Nursing (BSN) degree. Now, Miller joins her husband in his work at SRMC, planning to continue serving local patients to the best of her ability as an ICU nurse. In her free time, Miller also enjoys running and training for marathons.
“I absolutely love my job,” Miller expressed. “And I love both the people and patients I work with.”
Robin Palmer, a member of the SCC Foundation Board of Directors and lifelong community wellness advocate, has had the privilege of knowing and working with Miller on several different levels over the past 6-7 years. Throughout that time, Palmer has seen the dedication Miller has to fostering community wellness in Sampson County, including continuing her journey in healthcare at SCC.
Palmer stated, “In my role as Community Wellness Coordinator, I chose Valerie to be part of a county wellness committee because of her passion, expertise, and interest in community wellness. Truly, this seemed like the impetus for her nursing journey as she was trying to figure out a way to best serve our community. Then, I watched as she became a nurse to be able to do more for the health of this community. She is a real asset to Sampson County.”
Reflecting on her time at SCC, Miller recalled that she enjoyed both the faculty, staff, and classmates she interacted with at the College, especially Dr. Lisa Smith, former nursing department chair. In her decision to enroll at SCC, Miller explained that she also appreciated the locality and affordability of the campus as well.
“I loved all the people in the program and the instructors were wonderful,” Miller voiced. “I loved Dr. Smith, but I liked all of the instructors really. You get to know your classmates really well and the small faculty is wonderful. I also loved how the College was local and in person. Plus, its entirely affordable. My husband says it’s a terrific investment.”
Though Miller initially felt intimidated to return to college after so many years, she expressed that she is altogether grateful for the education she received at SCC because in the end, everything truly “turned out fine.”
She closed, “Nursing programs in general can be very difficult, but they are so worth it.”
Sampson CC is very proud of Valerie. The College loves seeing individuals return to school to further their education. SCC is glad Valerie chose its ADN program and looks forward to all she will continue to do to assist the local community through nursing.
For more information about the Associate Degree Nursing (ADN) program at SCC, contact email@example.com.
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.