Great Bay CC Class of 2009, Nursing
Current position: ICU Nurse, RN, Exeter Hospital
Nursing is Laurie’s second career. After two decades as a paralegal, she made the change with the help of Great Bay Community College.”
Laurie was drawn to Nursing as a result of many elements in her life. She was inspired by her sister, also a nurse (and a 1992 graduate of the community college). Experience leading a non-profit dedicated to juvenile diversion, helping kids and families in need, helped her realize her commitment to community service. And extensive exposure as the parent of a child with health challenges requiring multiple surgeries over several years gave her a powerful perspective on the nursing profession.
“As I watched the medical and patient care given to my daughter, I was fascinated by what the nurses do and the impact they have on patients and families. I also thought – ‘I can do that!’ – and realized that I had found a career to be passionate about.”
While still working full-time, Laurie enrolled in the Licensed Nursing Assistant program at Great Bay to test the waters. After earning her LNA certificate she applied to the Registered Nurse program at Great Bay, and continued to work full-time over the duration of the program, first as an LNA at an Alzheimer’s unit and then in the ICU at Exeter Hospital. Upon graduating from Great Bay’s RN program she secured a position as an ICU nurse, which she continues to hold.
“I feel lucky every day I go to work,” says Laurie. “I have never regretted making this change to a profession I love that holds such meaning for me. I couldn’t have done it without Great Bay Community College.”
And Laurie gives back, based on her own experience embarking on a new career while balancing all the demands of a full life. In 2012 she founded the Great Bay Community College Alumni Association, whose goal is to provide support to students who, like Laurie, are tackling the challenge of balancing college, work, and family obligations and face added expenses from textbooks to gas to child care. The association’s early priority is on outreach and building a membership base, and on developing ways to support current Great Bay students.