07/28/13 — WMH nurse and WCC instructor nominated as an amazing nurse

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WMH nurse and WCC instructor nominated as an amazing nurse

By Phyllis Moore
Published in News on July 28, 2013 1:50 AM

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Marcia Sampson, center, and students from the nursing program at Wayne Community College talk with Richard Best, a patient at Genesis Health Care in Mount Olive. Mrs. Sampson, a nurse at Wayne Memorial Hospital and nursing instructor at WCC, is one of 10 finalists for Amazing Nurses 2013, an online contest sponsored by Johnson & Johnson.

Over her 38-year career, countless patients have discovered Marcia Sampson to be an amazing nurse.

Recently, she got the word that she was among the Top 10 in the nation vying for the actual title.

Amazing Nurses 2013, a national online vote-generated contest sponsored by Johnson & Johnson, announced the finalists last month, with the voting period to run through Aug. 16. The winner will be announced Sept. 9 and featured on "Nursing Notes," the Johnson & Johnson Facebook page.

Criteria for candidates included being a U.S. resident, 21 or older, and an RN, LPN or APN, advanced practice nurse, who currently administers patient care.

Ms. Sampson, a registered nurse, retired June 1 from Seymour Johnson Air Force Base but continues in the profession, working at Wayne Memorial Hospital for the past 10 years. Two years ago, she earned her master's degree in nursing education and, since September, has been an instructor in the nursing program at Wayne Community College.

"Hopefully, they'll come out and have this passion," she said of her students.

Her zeal for her life's work has fueled some of her contributions to the profession.

In the early 1990s, while in civil service with the Air Force, she was a family advocate managing the "Parent Support Program," helping military families manage some of the struggles of family life in the service. Educational classes were created in areas from pregnancy to parenting, home and office visits, deployment support and more.

"I was one of eight that put that together and it was one of the model sites 23 years ago," she said.

The idea grew into a curriculum utilized in all military branches.

"What a profession," she said. "I have done a lot of things in this profession."

And yet she says this sort of recognition is not something she has sought, though she appreciates any time a former patient approaches with a memory or a story of care she provided.

"I love giving and I love being out there for others. When you can even do a baby step -- it's not always the giant steps. Sometimes it's those baby steps," she said. "Or you walk into a patient's room and say, 'What can I do for you?'

"You know you have made a change there. You know that you can make a difference .... I have been a nurse for 38 years and I'm just as passionate about it now."

Unbeknownst to her, a former patient, along with Heather Sellers, Ms. Sampson's daughter, nominated Ms. Sampson as an Amazing Nurse.

"I had no idea," Ms. Sampson said. "I'm driving down the road (with my daughter) and I'm getting this phone call. (Heather) started hollering in the background, but I didn't know what it was about."

It is definitely an honor, she admits. Chosen from among 1,000 candidates, she is the sole representative from North Carolina, the only one from the Southeast.

"Vote! Vote! Vote!" she said, adding, "I'm not one of those people that blow my horn. I enjoy doing what I do every day."

For more information, or to vote, visit www.amazingnurses.com.