Haley McFadden had not initially intended on enrolling at College of The Albemarle (COA), but when the pandemic hit, her plans were altered. McFadden had planned on taking a nursing fundamentals course through First Flight High School but when the class didn’t make, McFadden was referred to COA’s Nurse Aide program. In hindsight, McFadden said she wouldn’t have had it any other way. “Taking the class through COA personally helped better prepare me for when I go off to college next year. It also helped me become one step closer to my dream of being a trauma nurse,” she shared.
McFadden graduated from the Nurse Aide program at COA in November of 2020, while still in high school, and passed the state exam on Dec. 3, 2020. She currently works as a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) at Spring Arbor Assisted Living in Kill Devil Hills — a job she enjoys and felt well equipped for after taking courses at COA. “I love getting to know each resident and being able to spend time with them,” McFadden said, noting that it is especially meaningful amid Coronavirus when residents’ loved ones have been unable to visit. “Taking the Nurse Aide program, I would say, prepared me significantly for everything that I needed to know while working with the residents.”
McFadden plans to enroll at Old Dominion University to study nursing in fall 2021. She credits the Nurse Aide program at COA for helping her to feel more at ease with future courses she will take as her goal to become a trauma nurse is within reach. “I could not be happier about where I am today; being a CNA and working as a CNA while still in high school is a huge accomplishment to me. This has been my dream for as long as I can remember and now it is my reality.”