Nicole Huggins, '13
Nicole Huggins (Formerly Morrissey) graduated from UNG in 2013 with a nursing degree and began her career shortly there after in Nashville, TN. Currently she works with an agency in a critical care unit that travels throughout Nashville to staff intensive care units.
She reflects on her time at North Georgia stating the nursing program was incredible; instructors taught her beyond what comes from a text book and gave her confidence, skills and knowledge through the ASN Program. From the long hours at clinicals to the difficult courses at UNG, she learned that by truly applying herself, she could make it in the difficult field of nursing. Specifically, she recalls two instructors that shaped her into the nurse she is today. Allison Clapp, who is no longer with us, was her biggest influence durning school and that she helped her believe in herself. Katie Parrish was a role model to her and truly an advocate for all the students in the program.
Even with her current career obligations, Huggins still finds time to give back to UNG. Currently, she mentors current nursing students. She says they work late nights studying and doing practice work for the NCLEX.
Not only does her reach still impact UNG, but after Texas was hit by Hurricane Harvey, Huggins flew to Texas to help. She recalls volunteering on Tuesday and had to leave the next morning at 7 AM. Once in Texas, she said it took 10 hours to travel from Dallas to Houston; normally a 4 hour drive. The flooding caused them to constantly turn around and seek out other routes to the multiple hospitals. Eventually though, she said, it was either by boat or helicopter that they were able to make it to their destinations. As an ICU nurse, Huggins was not sure what she would face. During her time in Texas, she spent time working anywhere from ER, CVICU, MedSurg, telemetry tech, nurse tech, lab tech and everything in between. Her days were 16 hours long, which allowed local nurses that had been living at the hospital for 5 days to leave. Over the next 2 weeks, Huggins had to sleep, eat, shower and work at the hospital, as the nearby hotels were either booked or damaged. She claims the local staff were the true heroes, going above and beyond for every patient.
Huggins says she will never forget her time in Texas and the Kingwood Medical Center.