Inspired by a Mission Trip, Nelly Wheeler Is Using Her PCC Education to Help Others
At 31 years old, Nelly Wheeler’s life has turned out far different from anything she could have imagined growing up in Bogota, Colombia. But 10 years after arriving in the United States with a graphic design degree from Colombia School of Design in hand—but without speaking English—she now finds herself employed as a nurse at Physician’s East in Greenville.
A 2006 graduate of Pitt Community College’s Associate Degree Nursing program, Wheeler’s interest in the nursing profession began during a mission trip in Nicaragua. She explains that she observed a need for healthcare among the Central American country’s poverty-stricken population and was inspired to help her fellow man.
These days, Wheeler is part of a pool of nurses serving in multiple units at Physician’s East. On any given day, she can be found assisting doctors with procedures, checking in patients, determining if patients need to be seen by physicians, and performing EKGs.
“I love being a nurse; it is the most wonderful thing that has happened to me,” Wheeler said, adding that her desire to help people has not diminished with the years.
Wheeler, who continues to volunteer at PCC activities and says she will never forget the opportunities the school has given her, excelled in and out of the classroom at Pitt. An Honor Roll/Dean’s List student, she was a student ambassador, vice president of her nursing class and president of the college’s Rotaract Club.
“I had a great experience at PCC,” she said. “I had a wonderful relationship with all of my instructors.”
Without hesitation, Wheeler says her PCC education left her well-prepared for a nursing career, and she points out that she was offered a job at Pitt County Memorial Hospital several months before she had even graduated from college. She ended up working with surgical patients at PCMH for two years before making the move to Physician’s East.
“The PCC nursing program truly prepares you,” Wheeler said. “They do an excellent job. You realize the thorough education you received when you are on the job and have to think fast in a critical situation.”