Family Experiences Empower Sampson Nurse to Further Her Education

MOUNT OLIVE-Most people choose the educational path for their future, but for Sampson County native Jacquie Ammons it was more like her career path chose her. The 41 year old nurse has dedicated much of her adult life to caring for the needs of others.  She has been employed with Sampson Regional Medical Center for the past 20 years.  It is a career she is passionate about and one that hits close to come.

During Ammons sophomore year of high school, her Aunt Gayle Clifton passed away after a valiant fight with brain cancer.  That experience inspired Ammons.   “Watching my aunt fight cancer with grace, humility, and unwavering faith, was exceedingly powerful and inspiring to me,” Ammons said.  “Her determination to continue placing God and her family first, even on her hardest days, made me realize that I wanted to be someone who helped patients and their families.  I made the decision to become a nurse and make a difference in the lives of people who are sick.”

After high school, Ammons attended Sampson Community College and graduated with her associate’s degree in nursing.  In 1995, she began working at Sampson Regional Medical Center.  Since then she has worked as a charge nurse, nursing supervisor, operating room staff nurse, and director of medical/surgical.

Furthering her education has always been an objective that Ammons intended to pursue.  However, starting a family became a priority.  Now that her children are older, Ammons is able to pursue her degree while balancing the needs of her family and working full time. As she began to look at her options for higher education, Ammons had to look no further than to her sister, Jennifer Carter, for good advice. Carter graduated from the University of Mount Olive in August with an MBA degree.

“Jennifer encouraged me to attend the University of Mount Olive and even had information sent to me,” Ammons said.  “Once I started conversing with an online support coordinator, I knew that UMO was the school for me.  Not only did the advisor send me information quickly, she was extremely helpful and answered all of my questions.  That was the total opposite of some of the other big universities I had contacted.  I feel confident that I will receive assistance for any issue I may encounter and that support means so much to me.”

Ammons began classes this summer at the University of Mount Olive.  She is pursuing the online RN to BSN degree.  She is expected to graduate in December of 2016.

“As a nontraditional student, I feel the online program was tailor made for me,” Ammons said.  “Having two teenagers and working full time leaves me with very little free time.  With the online format, I am able to manage my time to focus on my assignments.  I also enjoy the discussions between students in the online format.”

Ammons’ motivation stems from many facets: her family, her love of learning, her love for the people of her community and her desire to be the best nurse that she can be. “My parents raised me and my sister in a Christian home where it was understood that education is extremely important,” Ammons said.  “Our parents instilled in us that learning is growing and that education was a priority.  They gave each of us room to grow, allowing us to navigate our way while providing support and guidance.  Neither ever belittled our attempts or judged a failure, but encouraged our efforts and celebrated our successes.”

From 2009 to 2011 Ammons’ father fought a losing battle with lung cancer.  During that time, Ammons found a new gratitude for medical professions.  It was another personal motivator for Ammons.

“Being able to provide the absolute best care for patients and their families is a desire that all nurses share,” Ammons said.  “By furthering my education, I am ensuring that I will be prepared to meet every standard of care that my patients require.”

Ammons is the daughter of Marilyn and the late Anthony Carter.  She is married to Chris Ammons.  They have two children, Lindsey age 15 and Collin age 12.  They reside between Clinton and Garland.  Ammons is a member of Turkey Pentecostal FWB church where she teaches youth Sunday school classes.  She is a member of the Union School District Advisory Board where her children attend school and where she attended growing up.  She is also a member of the UMO Winter Glitz Planning Committee.