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VGCC Student Overcomes Many Obstacles To Reach Nursing Education Goal

Renee Floyd’s middle name could well be “persistence.”

The second-year Associate Degree Nursing student at Vance-Granville Community College has overcome obstacles that probably would have stopped a person with less determination, and she now has her goal of graduating from the nursing program in sight.

Renee dropped out of high school to have a baby, Kristen, now 13 1/2. Later, she went to Vance-Granville and got her GED, but she realized she would never get the good job she wanted without more education. She always had the desire to help people who were hurting so she enrolled at VGCC in 1999 and began taking pre-requisite courses for nursing.

The Henderson resident was accepted in the Associate Degree Nursing program in 2000, but in the fall of 2001, the diabetes with which she had been diagnosed at age 5 worsened. She failed academically while getting adjusted to her regimen for living with the disease. Renee returned to the program in the fall of 2002 and was doing “incredibly well,” according to Beverly Hudgins, one of her nursing instructors.

But then Renee became pregnant with her second daughter, Katlyn, who was born with several complications, and she had to drop out of school again. Katlyn required several surgeries for her birth defects, and Renee stayed home to care for her.

Normally, a student who leaves the nursing program twice would have to start over because she would have lost her learned skills during prolonged absence from the classroom. But Renee asked for the chance to prove she had retained her skills, and Vance-Granville gave her that opportunity.

She re-enrolled in the fall of 2004 and finished that semester with good grades. Now, Renee Floyd is in her final semester and is on track to graduate in May with her Associate in Applied Science in nursing.

“I appreciate the opportunity the nursing faculty at Vance-Granville Community College gave me to come back,” Renee said. “But you have to earn what you get in the program, and I feel I have earned it.”

Renee believes all she has been through in 25 years as a diabetic and in caring for Katlyn will make her a better nurse. “I don’t know how I could have dealt with my daughter’s problems without the nursing knowledge I have gained,” she said.

“My outlook toward nursing is when I walk in any patient’s room, the care I give them is what I would give to a family member,” Renee Floyd said. “Anything I can do to help someone who is hurting, I want to do to make it easier for them, and nursing gives me that opportunity.”

She looks forward to going to work as a nurse upon graduation in May. Ultimately, her goal is to get a master’s degree and become a nurse practitioner. That’s quite a lofty goal for someone who has dropped out twice, but don’t count out Renee Floyd. Just look at how far she has come so far.