KENANSVILLE — With a growing shortage of qualified medical professionals, Christopher Mitchell understands first-hand the need that exists for nurses. His mother, who suffers from stage 4 kidney failure, receives dialysis treatments daily with the help from Mitchell, as well as the rest of his family.
His mother, he says, was part of his inspiration for wanting to become a nurse, “I was motivatived to learn more about nursing so I could take care her… she will eventually need a transplant, but for now dialysis is working.”
The other motivation came from years of watching his parents take care of mentally disabled and handicapped individuals at their family owned business, Pine Acres, an assisted living facility for long-term care located in Clinton where Mitchell works as a nursing assistant.
“Watching my parents take care of the elderly and the handicapped helped me to realize that this is what I wanted to do, and with my mother getting sick, I really wanted to learn more about ways that I could help her,” said Mitchell, who is a graduate of Union High School.
It was that desire that led him to enroll at James Sprunt Community College in the Practical Nursing Program.
“I love to care for others,” said Mitchell. “Nursing enhances the quality of life of people on another level…. I really just want to make a difference.”
As far as working in a mostly female dominated occupation, Mitchell says “I don’t mind it… you have to overlook other’s opinions as it doesn’t really affect you. In the clinical setting, there are a lot of male nurses.”
Mitchell plans on completing his diploma in practical nursing at James Sprunt and then hopes to continue into the associate degree nursing program on campus. Ultimately, he wants to become a nurse practitioner and has plans to pursue a bachelor’s degree, as well as a master’s degree.
“I love the atmosphere of hospitals and emergency rooms,” said Mitchell, “I would love to work in a hospital, maybe even become a travelling nurse so that I can see the world, or maybe work in the med-surge unit and help children or the elderly.”
If interested in learning more about the nursing programs offered at James Sprunt Community College, contact the department chair of Health Education, Tara Rich at 910-275-6272.