In the early 1970s, Linda Wallace was fairly content being an LPN (licensed practical nurse) in the critical care unit at Moore Regional Hospital.
By the time she retired in 2011, she had achieved the positions of Director of Operations and then Vice President of Patient Care/Chief Nursing Officer.
The change began with a recommendation for Sandhills Community College.
“In 1971, the hospital’s Director of Nursing, Elizabeth Mason, said to me, ‘Sandhills is right there. What would it take for you to get your registered nursing degree?’” Mrs. Wallace recalls. “I had been married at age 20 and hadn’t given too much thought to my career. But that conversation got me started thinking about what I wanted.”
With tuition assistance from the hospital, Mrs. Wallace returned to school full time, earning her associate’s degree as a registered nurse in 1972. She later completed her Bachelor of Science in nursing at UNC-Charlotte and then a master’s degree in Education at North Carolina State.
Mrs. Wallace stayed at Moore Regional Hospital until 1982 and then taught in the nursing program for six years at Central Carolina Community College before returning to Moore, in administrative positions.
“Sandhills created my true nursing career,” she recalls. “I remember how helpful the faculty was. The smaller class sizes made learning easier. I still remember my classmates with fondness. It was a great group—and going to Sandhills was a life-changing experience.”
Throughout her years at Moore Regional Hospital, Mrs. Wallace found herself recommending Sandhills, just as an administrator had done for her.
“Absolutely, one of the real joys of my role as a mentor was to guide staff members and that often included telling them about the nursing and other medical programs at Sandhills,” she says.
Mrs. Wallace had been active in the Sandhills Community College Alumni Association (SCCAA) and served as president in 2012.
Original source, “50/50” in 2012