Amanda Wells - GHC Student, Nursing
Making the Grade and Making a Difference
While working as a nurse’s aide, Amanda Wells made the decision to enroll in college and pursue a nursing degree. Although she had clear goals in mind, she needed some help getting started—and once she arrived at GHC, she found that help quickly. “I didn’t know much about computers and how to get started,” Amanda remembered. “The Running Start person, Lori Christmas, really helped me! I happened to walk into the Welcome Center, and somebody said, ‘Lori, do you have time?’ And she did; she answered all of my questions.”
Once she enrolled at GHC, Amanda took the pre-requisites required for GHC’s nursing program. Before beginning the nursing program, she enjoyed writing classes the most. Now, as a nursing student, her favorite thing is the simulations. “Simulation is where you have a mannequin in the bed. Someone is speaking through the mannequin. You have other people playing the family members. And you walk in as a nurse and address it all. It’s fun because it’s as close to real life as you can get,” Amanda said. “And no, they don’t tell us what’s coming!” she added.
After graduating from GHC, Amanda plans to pursue a Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing. She wants to work in an Intensive Care Unit (ICU), trauma, or wound care. She plans to start working locally and considers traveling in the future. “My long-term goals are to become a wound care nurse, work in an ICU, or a Neonatal ICU,” Amanda shared. She added, “I'm good at helping people overcome trauma and showing them their strengths. I love listening to their stories and finding ways to encourage them to move on. In college a teacher listened to me when I felt lost and afraid. My goal is to do that for as many people as I can.”
Looking back at her time at GHC, Amanda said that connecting with Lori during her first visit to the Welcome Center made all the difference. “In all reality, if Lori had not sat down with me and talked to me, I don’t know if I would have made it to college.”
After speaking with Lori, Amanda was able to get started at GHC, complete her pre-requisites, help her fellow students as a tutor, graduate with an Associate in Pre-Nursing, and enroll in GHC’s nursing program. Along the way, Amanda also joined Phi Theta Kappa (PTK), an international honor society with a local chapter at GHC. “I remember noticing before Covid, that all the brightest tutors who helped me so much were all part of PTK,” Amanda shared. “They were confident, secure in their knowledge, and wanted to share it. That is one reason I wanted to join, I wanted to be part of that group and be able to help other students.”
Because she joined Phi Theta Kappa during the pandemic, Amanda was unable to attend an in-person induction ceremony. Instead, she received her certificate and symbolic white rose in the mail. “I taped it to the wall by my desk. It reminded me that someone saw the work involved in making the grade, and it gave me an expectation that someone trusted me to uphold the required GPA,” Amanda remembered. Now, nearly two years later, I truly think I made it. I have been able to learn from and grow from the GPA expectations. I love reading the emails about the goings on with PTK and it was a source of pride to buy and wear my yellow tassel when I graduated with an Associate in Pre-Nursing degree.”
In winter of 2023, Amanda was nominated to represent GHC on Phi Theta Kappa’s All-USA Academic Team, an honor that recognizes outstanding students for their accomplishments in the classroom and service leadership in their communities.