The final month of 2023 continues to bring about many upcoming faculty and staff retirements from Sampson Community College (SCC), including Dr. Veronica Stevens, Nursing Instructor & former Division Chair of Health Programs. Planning to officially retire in January 2024, Stevens has proudly served SCC’s healthcare division since 1991.
In 1998, Stevens graduated East Carolina University (ECU) with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing. Stevens then went on to obtain her Master’s in Nursing, Post Master’s Certificate as a Family Nurse Practitioner, and a Graduate Certificate in Community College Teaching. In 2015, Stevens also received her Doctorate in Nursing Education from ECU.
Before applying to SCC, Stevens began her career at Sampson Regional Medical Center (SRMC) as a staff nurse in 1998, remaining full-time for 4 ½ years and part-time for 7. Throughout her journey, Stevens has also worked as a Family Nurse Practitioner at Sessoms Medical Practice, Clinton Women’s Clinic, Clinton Urgent Care, and the Duplin County Health Department.
While working as a nurse at SRMC, Stevens was recruited as a part-time clinical instructor for the College in 1991. Transitioning to full-time in 1992, she mentioned that SCC students and faculty often had clinical rotations at SRMC, who she enjoyed working with. Stevens explained that she soon developed a passion for teaching, which lead her to continue instructing at SCC for over three decades.
“I have had wonderful experiences with the students at the College,” Stevens expressed. “My greatest accomplishment is facilitating students in their endeavors. I most enjoy seeing students succeed who have faced seemingly unsurmountable challenges. I love being part of their stories as their destinies unfold. Each time they succeed, I succeed. It is amazing to be able to know that I played a small part in preparing the next generation of health care professionals. It delights me to see our graduates excelling in their professions.”
Throughout her time at the College, Stevens mentioned how she and her coworkers were able to function as “both a team and a family.” One of her fondest memories with them, she shared, was being able to work with the late Dr. Cliff Paderick, former President of SCC.
She recalled, “Each time the nursing graduates earned a 100% passage rate on the national licensure exam he would take the students, faculty, and staff out for a celebratory dinner. My favorite dinner was an evening on the Henrietta riverboat for a sunset cruise down the Cape Fear River. We enjoyed a delightful evening of fellowship, food, and sightseeing!”
When asked who she’d like to thank, Stevens stated that a great deal of people, too numerous to count, have supported her throughout the years in her work. However, she wanted to specifically express her gratitude to her mother, Lenora Frederick, Mrs. Mary Brown, Mrs. Thylistine Vann, and the late Mrs. Cindy Gurley.
“I would first like to thank my mother,” Stevens shared. “She and my father instilled great values in their children. They exemplified and expected us to have a strong work ethic, integrity, and the desire to always serve others.”
She continued, “Mrs. Mary Brown continues to be an amazing mentor and friend. Her service to SCC, Sampson County, and surrounding communities has been impeccable. Mrs. Thylistine Vann continues to be a shining example of professionalism, strength, and integrity as well. I would also like to honor Mrs. Cindy Gurley who set a standard of personal and instructional excellence that I have attempted to emulate. Her legacy continues.”
Upon retirement, Stevens plans to travel and spend time with her family, in addition to serving the community again as a Nurse Practitioner.
Succeeding Stevens as the Division Chair of Health Programs at SCC, Dr. Allie Apperson, expressed, “Dr. Stevens, a long-serving nurse educator, is set to retire after dedicating numerous years to the success of her students and the College. I am grateful to have worked with and learned from her in my time here and I wish her well as she ventures into a much-deserved retirement.”
Looking back, she believes that working at SCC has truly been worth it— contributing to her passion for educating students and serving those that are desperately in need of care. Her time at the College, she voiced, has provided her with skills, developed gifts, and cultivated relationships that have launched her into this next season of life.
She leaves students with this piece of advice, “Keep moving toward your destiny and never stop dreaming. Cultivate and operate in the spirit of excellence. Embrace the courage to meet adversity head on. It will strengthen and you refine your character, preparing you for the next level. Lastly, there is always more!”
Sampson CC extends its immense gratitude to Veronica for all her years of service. The College has truly been blessed by her work for the past thirty years. She leaves an impact on both faculty, staff, students, and the institution as a whole. SCC wishes her well in all her future endeavors, and thanks her for aiding in the College’s mission for students to, “Begin Here, Go Anywhere.”
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.