Maria Milam’s journey has carried her from her birth in Iceland to her current duties as a nurse in the labor and delivery department at Betsy Johnson Hospital – Harnett Health in Dunn.
It’s been an interesting journey for the Lillington resident, who graduated from the Central Carolina Community College Practical Nursing Program in 2016 and the Associate Degree Nursing Program in 2019.
“It’s challenging to be a nurse and maintain a family, along with my educational endeavors,” said Milam, who is current working on her Bachelor’s degree with plans to follow in her grandmother’s footsteps as a Midwife.
“I have gained so much knowledge and life experience and I truly think it helps me understand what it is like to be in everyone’s shoes. This makes me more compassionate toward my co-workers,” said Milam.
Milam said she enjoys teaching her patients. “I work in labor and delivery and it is such a big part of the experience,” said Milam. “The next best thing is the ability to do so many different kinds of nursing.”
Milam notes that nurses have a stressful job – especially during this time of the COVID-19 pandemic. “Aside from feeling oxygen deprived from continuously wearing a mask, it is challenging to constantly be on guard and extra particular about PPE (personal protective equipment) and other standard precautions,” said Milam, noting her gratitude for the gestures of support and concern. “When you put good stuff out in the world, it always comes back to you. Right now, so many healthcare workers are spending countless hours in the hospital, and just one simple gesture makes it all worth it.”
CCCC Nursing Instructor Jamie Ferguson said Milam was a focused and dedicated student. “She was focused on her goals to finish nursing school, pass her boards, and become a Labor and Delivery Nurse,” said Ferguson. “She achieved all of her goals and started as a new graduate nurse in L&D and continues to pursue her dreams.”
Milam talked about her CCCC educational journey. “I really got to know my instructors really well. They really held me accountable and it motivated me to prove to them that I could do this. The relationships I have with them today are invaluable and I know they are always cheering me on as I keep making accomplishments,” said Milam. “I also like that I can now mentor and tutor other people who are struggling — that is super rewarding.”