Gardner-Webb Prepares Nursing Veteran for Next Step in her Career

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Robin Sherrill (’16) Earns Family Nurse Practitioner Certificate

Robin Sherrill (’16) of Statesville, N.C., has been in the nursing profession for 27 years. Throughout that time, she’s discovered the truth in this quote from author Orison Swett Marden: “If you do not feel yourself growing in your work and your life broadening and deepening, if your task is not a perpetual tonic to you, you have not found your place.”

Sherrill began to find her place in high school when she worked as a hospital volunteer and took health occupations classes. “From that moment I knew I wanted to be a nurse,” she shared. “I developed a strong desire to give back to others in their time of need. I felt very compassionate about helping others.”

After high school, she started her educational journey by earning a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Gardner-Webb University. Later, Sherrill went back to GWU to obtain a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) in nursing education with the intention of giving back to future nurses. “As I began to teach as a clinical instructor, I realized what I missed the most was patient care,” she disclosed. “I wanted to get back to patient care, but at a higher level, so that’s why I went back to complete my Post-Master’s Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) Certificate.”

At each step in her journey, she continued to work while going to school. “There were mornings I would wake up and say, ‘Okay, where do I need to be today?’” Sherrill observed. “What helped me manage was strength and faith in the Lord as well as excellent professors, clinical instructors, preceptors and great planning and organizational skills. You simply have to take it day-by-day and week-by-week. The knowledge I have gained has made me a stronger, more confident nurse and will lead me to being a better provider of care for my patients.”

Her clinical instructors provided exceptional guidance, and her favorite experience was being able to help a person who couldn’t afford diabetic supplies. “One clinical day we had a patient come in for a lab follow-up and medication refill,” she related. “The patient had run out of her test strips and had not been monitoring her blood sugars. She was trying to make the few dollars she had left last until the end of the month when she would get her disability check. We were able to supply her with enough test strips to get her to the end of the month and she was so appreciative. That’s what I find so rewarding about being a nurse, being able to help those in need.”

Robin Sherrill (in back) with her GWU classmates

She believes the faculty in the Hunt School of Nursing offer constant encouragement and support to students. She has been helped the most by Assistant Professor Anna Hamrick, director of the MSN-FNP program, and Instructor of Nursing Jill Parker.

“I would not have wanted to travel this road without them,” Sherrill affirmed. “They are our cheerleaders and want nothing but success for all of the students. One thing that made the greatest impact on me is the spiritual YouTube video Parker would show in class, which was followed by a beautiful, strengthening prayer. Sometimes it was a cute one to lighten the stress. The videos and prayer were not only encouraging but gave us all strength to continue on the journey. I think my favorite song, if I had to choose, would be ‘Breathe’ by Johnny Diaz.”

Her advice to anyone considering the nursing programs at Gardner-Webb, “It will be the best experience of your life. It will be challenging but very rewarding. What I value the most about my GWU experience is not only the academic accomplishments, but also the fellowship and spiritual growth I have achieved.”