— press release courtesy VGCC
Restarting a career is never easy. It takes persistence and, often, a leap of faith, to change course, which is what many students come to Vance-Granville Community College to do. That was the case with Jeannie Adcock.
A Vance County native, Adcock completed a bachelor’s degree at East Carolina University and went into the working world. From 2009-2015, she worked at Maria Parham Medical Center in Henderson in administrative roles, with stints in marketing, as the physician liaison and as the development coordinator with the hospital foundation (today known as Triangle North Healthcare Foundation).
But after several years working in the health care field, she felt drawn to pursue a career on the clinical side. She decided she wanted to obtain an associate degree in Nursing and headed to her hometown college, VGCC. There, she found supportive faculty and staff members who helped guide her through the Nurse Aide I program and courses like Biology, before she could officially enter the Associate Degree Nursing program.
“I started the ADN program in August 2016,” Adcock recalled. “To say it was the hardest thing I’ve ever done might still be an understatement!”
Adcock said she was able to succeed, at least in part, by making some amazing friends. “You really can’t place a value on how important these bonds are to help you make it through, because no one else understands what you’re going through,” she said. Adcock also found excellent, experienced Nursing faculty members. “I was known as the ‘outspoken’ one in our class, and I’m sure my instructors ‘appreciated’ it,” she reflected with a laugh.
Adcock excelled in the rigorous, challenging program, earning President’s List honors and a pair of academic scholarships from the VGCC Endowment Fund. She later spoke at the annual Endowment Fund Golf Tournament to thank the community for supporting the college.
In 2018, she not only graduated but completed the program with among the highest grade point averages in her class. “Every curve ball that was thrown at me, I found a way to knock it out of the park,” Adcock recalled. “I was so proud to receive my degree on stage from Dr. Stelfanie Williams (then the college president), as she had been a very supportive and influential part of my journey.”
Adcock had set clear career goals from the beginning of her time at VGCC. “All of my instructors knew from the start that my plan was to go to work in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU), so thankfully, I was one of the few members of our class to receive the ICU preceptorship in our last semester of school,” she said. That preceptorship was part of her invaluable clinical training which takes students to various health care facilities that partner with the college. “I completed clinical rotations at Granville Medical Center, Maria Parham, Central Regional Hospital, UNC and Duke,” she said. “When it was time to apply for jobs, I only applied to ICU’s, landed four ICU interviews/offers and accepted a job offer at Duke.”
Today, she is a registered nurse in the Neurosciences ICU at Duke University Hospital, which is ranked as the top hospital in North Carolina. “I couldn’t be happier with my decision,” Adcock said. “I have the best co-workers, and our providers are all amazing!” She even helps to train the nurses of tomorrow, including VGCC students who come to her unit for their own clinical rotations.
Her advice to those considering following in her footsteps as a student: “Don’t ever let someone tell you that you’re not capable of doing something! Never accept ‘no’ for an answer and don’t expect results without dedication!”