Cheryl McNeill – Continuing Sandhills Excellence
No matter how you judge success, the Nursing programs at Sandhills Community College emerge as winners. In 2012, 100 percent of all Associate Degree Nursing and Practical Nursing graduates passed their National licensure examinations.
But for department chair Cheryl McNeill success also is realized through touching emails and phone calls. “I’ll get a phone call from a nurse who graduated ten years ago, saying she was just thinking about Sandhills and where her degree has taken her,” Mrs. McNeill says. “We often hear from our nurse graduates – including an email we received recently from a nurse on a healthcare mission trip in Scotland – updating us on their careers. That’s very rewarding.”
Mrs. McNeill came to Sandhills in 1988 and served as an instructor until her family moved out of the area in 2005. When she returned in 2009, it was as the department chair; her husband now is the Mayor of Southern Pines.
“Three things extremely important to me personally and professionally are also part of the Sandhills Nursing programs: serving where needed, realizing we’re part of a bigger picture and valuing relationships,” she says. “Because of the dedicated nursing faculty our students are provided an incredible learning opportunity.”
Mrs. McNeill has seen many changes over the years including that now, through the generosity of the community and the Sandhills College Foundation, a state of the art Simulation Center on campus allows students to have a high tech interactive learning environment.
She is also welcoming new Nursing students who are the children of nurses who earned their degree at Sandhills decades ago.
“These second generation students are joining a wide variety of students we have on campus including recent high school graduates, people with four-year degrees, people starting their first career and those switching their life path,” Mrs. McNeill says. “All are looking for a career that is dedicated to helping others and that offers job stability, and they find it in the Nursing programs at Sandhills.”
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