Amber Hinson enrolled in CCBC’s Polysomnographic (Sleep) Technologist program in 2019 because she heard it was the best in the state. But in the back of her mind, she still thought about her dream career in nursing.
“I wanted to be a nurse when I was younger, but I thought I wasn’t smart enough,” said Hinson. “I mentioned it to my Sleep Tech professor and she encouraged me to go for it. I was afraid, because I knew CCBC’s Nursing program was very competitive, and I didn’t know if I was going to make it.”
After talking with her professor, Hinson applied to and was accepted into the Nursing program in 2021. At the same time, her mom was sick, and CCBC supported both academically and financially.
“I was in this place where my mom got sick and was in the ICU. I had to stop everything,” said Hinson. “I had amazing teachers and they said, ‘we know what’s going on, we will help you out as much as possible.’”
Hinson said her job was not as forgiving, and she worried about paying for college. She worked with Financial Aid to get help.
“In the nick of time during COVID, CCBC came through with a tuition-free scholarship for me,” she said. “I don’t think that I would be here if it wasn’t for that scholarship.”
Hinson said that while the nursing program is hard, she has all the tools to succeed. She loves the flexible schedule, which allows her to balance time at home, work and school.
“I love the fact that there are multiple ways you can take classes – daytime, nighttime, weekends – and starting at different times of the year,” said Hinson. “Knowing that you can look at your schedule at home and make your classes fit is a great way to be able to say, ‘this is really doable.’”
Hinson believes that the quality of education and professors at CCBC are top-notch.
“The amount of education and experience that the professors bring and the willingness they have to mentor you on their downtime and on the weekends is incredible,” said Hinson. “I still get emails from past professors asking how I’m doing. I haven’t had that before and I have gone to other schools so it’s a really unique experience being here.”
She wanted to become one of CCBC’s Fresh Faces student ambassadors because it was something that she was already doing in an unofficial capacity.
“I have no problem telling people all about CCBC and how great it is and how they’ve helped me,” said Hinson. “I am very vocal, and I tell my friends and people on the street, ‘you need to come to CCBC.’ There are so many options like online, hybrid, summer and bridge courses to see if this school is for you, and it probably is.”
Hinson says it’s important to get involved at CCBC, because you never know who you’re going to meet and how one person or one class can change your life.
“I honestly don’t know if I would have gone into nursing if I didn’t have certain teachers,” she said. “CCBC is one of those places where a new discovery is always right there. You can turn the corner and meet a professor who just changes how you think about everything.”
Hinson plans to continue the Nursing program at CCBC and enter the LPN to RN Bridge program, then earn her RN and eventually her BSN degree.
“Going after your dreams can be very daunting, but it feels like while I am here and looking at my goals it’s not foggy – I can see my steps and I don’t feel lost,” said Hinson. “At CCBC, I am able to achieve my dreams in a way that I didn’t think was possible. And there is something to be said about having a dream that you know can be realized.”