MINGLE WITH MARCY: Entering Fall 2021 with nursing in mind
By Dr. Marcy Stoll, EdD, MSN | CEO | ACEN
When every second counts, nurses are among the many first responders that run toward a need offering their help. When the COVID-19 pandemic started, I knew every second counted, and I wanted to help too by volunteering to be a vaccinator. I had an inactive registered professional nurse license in New York and Virginia, and both states reactivated my license quickly. I joined ServGA and the Medical Reserve Corps in my county, and I completed the online training required to be a vaccinator. Then I found out I could not obtain my registered professional nurse license in Georgia because I was not qualified per the board of nursing licensure by endorsement requirements, and as a resident of Georgia I did not qualify for a Georgia emergency temporary permit in response to the emergency declaration issued by the governor.
Accepting “no” is not in my nature. Besides, I really wanted to help and knew I could. So, I volunteered in a non-clinical role to assist with vaccination efforts in my community, and my journey began to obtain my registered professional nurse license in Georgia. I had to enroll in an approved Georgia Board of Nursing RN Re-entry Program and was fortunate to connect with Kristie Washington, the RN Re-entry/CE Coordinator at Blue Ridge Area Health Education Center (AHEC). The RN Re-entry Program, per the Georgia Board of Nursing, is a combination of 40 hours of independent study relevant to nursing, a written examination, and 160 hours of supervised nursing practice.
Another friend in this journey was Diane Durrence, the Chief Nurse/Women’s Health Director for the Georgia Department of Public Health. I connected with Diane in the early days of setting up vaccination sites when I was trying to find ways for nursing faculty and students in ACEN-accredited nursing programs in Georgia to assist with vaccination efforts in their communities. Diane and her team were instrumental in helping make these connections. Little did I know that I would need Diane’s help making a connection for me personally. I remained steadfast about helping my community, and Diane opened the door for me to complete my clinical hours with the Cobb-Douglas Public Health Department (CDPHD). Thanks to my mentor Dawn Krahwinkle, Deputy Director for CDPHD’s Center for Clinical Services, I spent 40 hours in the childhood/travel immunization clinic, 40 hours in the child health clinic, and 80 hours in the adult health clinic. And finally, I was also able to volunteer as a vaccinator at some CDPHD community events. YIPPEE!
I am happy to say I obtained my Georgia multi-state registered professional nurse license. It takes a village to make just one nurse. I can’t offer enough gratitude to my village—everyone at the ACEN for their patience while I was on PTO doing my clinical hours and especially Suzette Farmer, an ACEN Director, whose invaluable guidance helped navigate the New York, Virginia, and Georgia boards of nursing licensing processes and paperwork. Additional appreciation is owed to the staff and nurses at CDPHD. Thank you EVERYONE for your help reaching this goal that found me.
What happens now? I want to serve my community by volunteering at a local community-based organization and participating in mission trips in the future.