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“Put your best efforts into the courses you take . . . because the information will come back in later courses. . . . In every lecture, there’s a topic where you’ll have to recall prior information in order to follow along.”
Samantha Stokes graduated from Harford Community College with honors in General Studies and a biology concentration in May 2016. Now studying registered nursing at the Community College of Baltimore County through its Associate to Bachelor’s partner program with Towson University, Samantha also works as a Clinical Nurse Extern in the Pediatric Emergency Department at Johns Hopkins Children’s Center. She starts IVs, performs physical assessments, draws up medications, assists in critical care and trauma situations and more, all with the guidance of her nurse preceptor who serves as both practitioner and educator.
As a new graduate in the summer of 2016, Samantha had this advice for incoming students and those considering coming to HCC: “I would absolutely recommend Harford to others. The relationships you make with other students as well as the faculty and staff are amazing. The relationships and programs truly push you to do well and succeed, and they give you the skills you need to transfer to a four-year institution, directly into your career, or anywhere that you head after you finish your time at HCC. The programs, degrees, and certificates offered at Harford are very affordable and flexible, allowing you to work – possibly in your career field – all while attending classes to advance your career.
A Study Abroad experience with CCBC’s School of Health Professions took her to Costa Rica in January 2017, where she and her fellow students participated in a medical campaign providing basic health and wellness services, including eye, dental, and physical exams to underserved pediatric, adult, and geriatric populations.
Samantha said, “It was great being able to practice my nursing skills and improve my Spanish at the same time. I also had the opportunity to travel to the top of the mountains where we had dinner overlooking the city, and I zip-lined through the rain forest! Our final zip-line was 240 feet tall and definitely something I would never have envisioned myself doing.”
After she returned home, she put together her feelings about her trip in this statement: Costa Rica, Thanks for showing me there's always more to life than the material. That there's always more simplicity in life. That there's always more learning to be had. That there's always more fun to experience. That there's always more of the world to explore. And, most importantly, that there's always more love to be shared.
Samantha offers some advice to students just starting out at Harford: “I would recommend any student new to HCC take any opportunity that comes their way. I would never have joined the My College Success Network had I not received the phone call from my advisor a few weeks before my first semester started. I went out on a limb and took advantage of that opportunity, and it was certainly one of the best decisions I made.”
She continued, “Also, put your best efforts into the courses you take. You hear it often that you need to try your best because the information will come back in later courses, but it is absolutely true. In every lecture, there’s a topic where you’ll have to recall prior information in order to follow along with the lecture.”
Samantha will graduate from CCBC in May 2018 and Towson in December 2018, well on her way toward realizing her plans to become a successful and knowledgeable pediatric nurse.
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