Hope Abounds for Pope with Nursing Opportunities

Dublin, Ga., (OFTC) – As a little girl, Summer Pope watched as her aging grandparents declined in health; she vowed to herself that one day she would become a nurse and take care of them. 

OFTC ADN student Summer Pope in the Dublin Campus Nursing Lab

OFTC ADN student Summer Pope in the Dublin Campus Nursing Lab

Years later, Pope became pregnant and eventually dropped out of high school. 

A teen mom with no high school diploma – her dreams of becoming a nurse looked bleak.  

“I knew that I still wanted to be a nurse,” Pope shared, “so my grandmother recommended I attend Oconee Fall Line Technical College (OFTC) for the high school equivalency exam.”  

As soon as she stepped onto campus, Pope felt hopeful. 

“I immediately felt that I had found the campus I wanted and needed to attend,” she said.  

Pope graduated with her GED in 1998 and later enrolled in the College’s Licensed Practical Nursing (LPN) program.

“Pursuing nursing allowed me to fulfill that sacred promise I made many years ago,” Pope shared. She graduated from the program and passed her state boards to become an LPN in 2007. 

More Than A Career 

Pope followed through on her promise to become a nurse and for the last thirteen years, she has worked in geriatric long-term care. 

“Caring for the elderly is a daily affirmation that this is my destiny,” she said. “There is no other career as rewarding and at times challenging as nursing. For me, being a nurse is who I am, just as I am a mother, daughter, sister, and granddaughter.” 

But her nursing dreams don’t end there. While working as an LPN, Pope realized she could be more for her patients. “By pursing my associate degree in nursing (ADN), I can gain more knowledge which will benefit the patients whom I serve,” she said. 

So, in the August of 2018 Pope once again found her way back to OFTC with intentions to enroll in the College’s ADN Bridge program. 

“The affordable cost coupled with the short program time convinced me that OFTC’s bridge program was the right choice for me,” Pope said. “The ADN program credits your prior education and work experience towards reaching your degree in a timely manner and it’s the perfect fit for me.”  

“I’m very excited for this opportunity to go further in my nursing career,” she added. “I am a compassionate person who enjoys taking care of others, yet I’m fiercely determined and driven. My desire is to love, support, and advocate for the patients whom I serve; all of these qualities are required in order to become a successful nurse.”  

The OFTC Difference 

While a positive experience brought her back to OFTC again and again, Pope truly believes in the education she received and is confident she will gain the knowledge and skills to become a successful Registered Nurse. 

“OFTC is the only college that I’ve attended, and that’s a choice I am proud of and would recommend to anyone,” she shared.  

The small class sizes, flexible schedule times, friendly and knowledgeable staff, and affordable prices are the best attributes of OFTC in Pope’s mind. But the hands-on experience students receive at OFTC is what makes all the difference, she said. 

“By placing students in the clinical setting where they will apply the skills they’re learning, it guarantees that graduates are not only familiar with nursing equipment and environments but that they’re proficient in their particular field.”  

A Hopeful Future 

What started as a childhood dream and a promise to her grandparents many years ago has turned into a sense of direction and purpose for Pope. “OFTC has changed my life dramatically,” she said. “Through my education I have raised two children, established a successful career, and found confidence in myself and my abilities,” she said. 

Pope is currently enrolled in the required core classes for OFTC’s ADN Bridge program and plans to compete for the fall 2020 cohort this spring. 

“Once I become an RN, I plan to remain in the long-term care setting as I pursue my bachelors of science degree in nursing (BSN),” she shared. “Upon completion of my BSN, I hope to return to OFTC to teach LPN classes. Through my career in nursing I can reach hundreds; yet by teaching others, I hope to help thousands.”