Nursing Graduate Captures Dream


Nursing Graduate Captures Dream


Valerie Butler

Pictured: Valerie Butler, Critical Care Registered Nurse at Carolinas Medical Center-University.



According to the National League for Nursing, the United States offers 1,084 Associate Degree Nursing programs and 54 of them are operated in North Carolina. But, not everyone that tries to get into a nursing school is able to make the cut. It takes hard work and dedication, and when life gets in the way, sometimes it can take years to finish your education.

Everyone’s personal journey to career success is different. Valerie Butler, a 2014 Stanly Community College (SCC) Nursing graduate will be the first to tell anyone interested in nursing that it’s never too late to pursue your dream. She admits that nursing is hard work and can be exhausting, but has never doubted that it was worth it. With over 12 years of experience in the medical field as a respiratory therapist, Valerie hoped there was still time to capture her dream of becoming a nurse. “I never thought that things would happen so quickly, as far as being accepted into SCC’s Nursing Program. I’ve always wanted to become a nurse. My whole life I’ve gravitated toward things that entail helping others—that’s what fulfills me. I absolutely love helping others in need, especially the less fortunate,” Valerie said.

SCC’s nursing program only accepts 60 students each fall, capping at 108 students in the program at any given time. The TEAS is used as the ranking tool to offer admission status. TEAS stands for “Test of Essential Academic Skills”. It’s a multiple choice assessment of basic academic knowledge in reading, math, science and English-and-language usage. “I chose SCC because of their successful NCLEX pass results and their ability to cater to working adults,” Valerie commented. Nursing students take a test known as the NCLEX-RN following graduation in order to begin practicing as an entry-level RN. A report that is produced annually, by the National Council of State Boards of Nursing, on NCLEX-RN test results has recently ranked SCC as number one in the nation.

Valerie’s future is looking bright as a Critical Care Registered Nurse at Carolinas Medical Center-University. “I love being a nurse, it’s so rewarding to help someone in need. I wouldn’t change anything about my education. SCC has forever changed my life,” she said. “Nursing is such an honorable profession and has taught me about myself and about people in ways I’ve never imagined.”

For those individuals who want to become a nurse, Valerie wants them to know that the best students are those who are teachable, persistent, accountable, and mentally tough. “Possessing those traits will help one be successful in the classroom, but more importantly, become a successful nurse!”