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COA Student Success Story: Julie Stallings, Associate Degree Nursing

Julie Stallings knew that she wanted to eventually become a Nurse Practitioner, so applying for the Associate Degree Nursing (ADN) program at College of The Albemarle (COA) was the first step toward that goal. “I chose COA, specifically the ADN program, for multiple reasons. It is very affordable without sacrificing the quality of education provided. I also enjoyed that this program was close to home where I had a strong support system,” Julie said. She also noted that ADN at COA has a strong reputation for being a rigorous program, and the exceptionally high National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX) pass rates were just another reason she was drawn to ADN.

After graduating in 2016, Julie enrolled at the University of North Carolina-Wilmington (UNCW) where she earned a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) in 2017. She was able to work as a pediatric nurse at Duke University Hospital in Durham while she completed her BSN.

Julie then continued her studies at UNCW, acquiring a Master of Science in Nursing and becoming a Family Nurse Practitioner through the American Association of Nurse Practitioners in 2019, all while maintaining a 4.0 grade point average. In addition to degrees earned, Julie became Pediatric Advanced Life Support certified as well as a certified provider for Chemotherapy and Biotherapy.

Julie shared that she has always had an affinity for pediatric patients. “The opportunity to do our pediatric clinical rotation at Children’s Hospital of the Kings Daughters (CHKD) in Virginia was something I thoroughly enjoyed. I remember doing a rotation on the hematology-oncology unit and I knew immediately that was where I wanted to work.” After learning of her acceptance to UNCW’s Family Nurse Practitioner program, Julie was to complete her studies while simultaneously working for CHKD as a hematology-oncology nurse on that very same unit she visited while at COA. She was awarded the hospital-wide “Safety Hero of the Month” recognition while working at CHKD.

When asked what Julie appreciated the most from her studies at COA, she said, “I enjoyed the amount of hands-on clinical experience provided in the ADN program, and also the relationships I developed with classmates and instructors.” She also explained that the program “allowed me to begin working as a nurse sooner than if I had gone through a Bachelor of Science in Nursing program.”

Julie’s drive to succeed and dedication to her career path paid off. She was able to apply the knowledge and skills obtained at COA to work full time while completing her advanced degrees. Julie now works as a nurse practitioner at Doctor G Family Medical Services in Elizabeth City.