- Began Associate Degree Nursing (ADN) Program May 2003, graduating May 2004 (awarded Most Outstanding ADN Student and Most Outstanding OB Student)
- Married Derek Yeager July 2, 2004
- Worked as RN at Brookwood Medical Center from 2004 to 2006
- RN at St. Vincent’s Birmingham since July 2005, and continues on a part-time basis
- Specialty areas: Critical Care and Medical Surgical Nursing
- Daughter Alyssa born May 31, 2007, now 4 years old
Growing up I knew I wanted to work in a field where I could help others. I went back and forth between being a teacher or being a nurse, with the occasional aspiration to be a radiologist (where that one came from I have no idea). As I entered Shelton State Community College as a recent high school graduate I was still undecided. On a whim one day I made the decision to apply for the nursing program. I decided that if I got in, then that is what I was meant to do. I was accepted into the program and shortly thereafter, began my nursing studies. While in the program, it became apparent to me that I did not have to choose between the two professions I desired. I could be a nurse and I could be a teacher. I made this known to my then nursing instructor, Mrs. Kim Inman Smith, who now serves as the director of the nursing program at Shelton State Community College. Throughout both the PN and ADN programs and during my years working at the bedside, I remained focused on my goal of one day teaching nursing. During the journey, life did throw me for a loop, making the future very unclear to me. Less than a month after graduating from the Associate Degree Nursing Program and three weeks before I got married, the love of my life was diagnosed with stage three colon cancer. The next two years would be the hardest of our lives. We spent these years constantly in and out of the hospital with Derek having multiple surgeries, chemotherapy treatments, radiation treatments, tests, complications, and everything else a newly married couple never expects to go through. Due to our experiences while my husband was sick, I knew without a doubt that God meant for me to be a nurse. My training as a nurse allowed me to recognize complications quickly and also to provide care to my husband and assurance to him that he would get quality care. This year we joyfully celebrated six years of remission from cancer. Unfortunately, during my husband’s many hospital stays we not only saw the excellent nurses, but I also saw the nurses who give our profession a bad name. This made me even more certain that nursing education was in my future. If I can teach nursing students to provide the compassionate, quality care that was often not provided to my husband, then I can improve the lives of so many people. I believe my knowledge of nursing from the standpoint of the nurse and from the standpoint of the patient and family member helps me teach students to provide this compassionate, quality nursing care.
Once my husband’s illness was behind us and also after my daughter was born, I decided it was time to take action on accomplishing my goal. When my daughter was just eight months old, I began my graduate studies at Samford University in their nurse educator program. This program prepared me in so many ways to teach nursing. I was a little picky with my goal of becoming a nursing instructor. I not only wanted to teach nursing, I wanted to teach nursing at a certain school, Shelton State Community College, which has been a home to me for so many years now. I have held many roles at Shelton State Community College. I have been a student, preceptee, part-time nursing faculty, and now am very thankful to have accomplished my goal and have become a full-time nursing instructor at the school I love.