Nursing Faculty and Noel Center Help Student Achieve Success

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Kimberly White (’17) Gains Confidence for Career in Healthcare

On her first day of class in the Hunt School of Nursing at Gardner-Webb University, Kimberly White (’17) of Shelby, N.C., strained to hear what her instructor was saying. As she wondered what to do, the instructor came to a section in the syllabus that described how the Noel Center provides assistance to students with disabilities.

“I had a hearing deficit due to Meniere’s disease and I wear hearing aids, but I didn’t see myself as having a disability,” White explained. “So I took the information down and called the Noel Center. I met Lauren Vesta, a disability specialist interpreter for the deaf/captionist. She was able to calm my fears and assured me they could help. I was assigned a captionist in every class, and it has helped me to be successful. It was a hard adjustment for me in the beginning and a new experience for most of the professors.”

The captionists received lecture materials before class to help them become familiar with the topic. During class, they typed everything spoken by the instructor and questions asked by the other students. “I’m so thankful for them. They have really worked hard for me, and I could not do it without them,” White praised. “I sit front and center in my classes. I try to take some notes, but it’s pretty exhausting trying to watch the instructor, watch what is being typed by the captionist, plus look at the Power Points on the screen. After class I take my notes and the Power Points and read back over what the captionist typed, compare and combine notes.”

Through the support and encouragement of the nursing faculty, and especially Dr. Kathy Williams and Dr. Tracy Arnold, White knows she will be ready for the National Council Licensure Exam for Registered Nurses. “Dr. Williams quickly calmed my fears when she walked up to me and revealed that she also was hard of hearing. And, I always look forward to the devotions Dr. Arnold would post, and her heartfelt prayers for us before each exam,” White affirmed. “I feel so fortunate to have shared this part of my nursing journey with both of these incredibly knowledgeable nursing professors. God really did know what he was doing when he led me to Gardner-Webb. He knew I would face difficulties and knew that I would need strong Christian influences to help get me through.”

White has a paramedic certification and a degree in emergency management. She decided to pursue an Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) after participating in three medical mission trips to Ghana, West Africa. “It was during that time I realized God’s will for my life was to become a nurse so that I would have more opportunities to share the love of Jesus through medical missions both locally and internationally,” she reflected. “Taking care of people is all I know how to do. God ultimately created me to love and nurse the sick back to health. I’ve reached the time in my life when what I do on a daily basis needs to glorify God.”