Traci Church of Hebron said that from an early age, she always wanted to be a nurse or doctor. Now she is both. In the beginning, however, life had other plans and she took a few detours, trying other paths -- including studying accounting at Wor-Wic and owning a hair salon for a time, all while raising a large family.
Then, in 2007, she “went for her dreams” and enrolled in Wor-Wic’s nursing program. She said that if it wasn’t for Wor-Wic, she probably would not have pursued her lifelong dream.
“I miss Wor-Wic,” Church said. “It’s the best school I ever went to, and I’ve been to several. I had a great experience, which I think is instrumental in going as far as I did. Wor-Wic was kind of a catalyst to drive me further. I wish I could say all my other experiences in higher education were as good. People think that community college is a downgrade from what a university is. This is not true at all. I probably learned more because of the personal care of each instructor. They were invested in each student. They cared if we passed or not. Everyone was very serious about their jobs and they were always helpful if there was ever any issue -- from enrollment to finances.
“There were many obstacles,” Church said when asked about her career change, “but not with Wor-Wic, just with life. It was not easy. The nursing program was extremely difficult, which it should be. Juggling life -- I was still working full time, I was going to school full time and I had five kids at home.”
A dean’s list student, she joined the Alpha Nu Omicron chapter of the Phi Theta Kappa (PTK) international honor society at Wor-Wic. Two years later, she earned her associate degree in nursing. Church started her nursing career in geriatric nursing at a local nursing home. She moved on to the Peninsula Regional Medical Center, where she worked in med-surg, telemetry and critical care.
Church also went on to earn her master’s degree from the University of Delaware and her doctorate in the nurse practitioner program from the University of South Alabama. She now owns her own primary care practice – Mid Atlantic Primary Care in Salisbury. Church says that is what she will retire doing – owning her own practice and taking care of her patients. “I love all of my patients and I love primary care. It was a blessing to have Wor-Wic available to me to give me my start in this career.”