Finding Greatness: Courtney Poole

Author: News Bureau
Posted: Monday, January 8, 2018 12:00 AM
Categories: Pressroom | Students | Finding Greatness | School of Health Sciences

Macon, GA


Courtney Poole did not let her visual impairment stop her from realizing her dream of becoming an RN.

Full Name: Courtney Elizabeth Poole.

Age: 23.

Hometown: Warner Robins.

Residence: Bonaire. High School: Warner Robins High School, Class of 2012, where she was a member of the National Beta Club, secretary of the Mu Alpha Theta Math Club, and academic letterman.

Family: "For their support as I strive to achieve my goals, I would like to thank my dad, James Poole, my mom, Beth Poole, and my little brother, Cameron Poole. They have stuck by my side since day one. Without the love and support that I receive from the three of them none of my personal or professional goals would even be possible. I’d also like to thank a peer in my nursing cohort who has now become a close friend, Shannon Karika. We would jokingly refer to her as my 'ride or die' but Shannon truly was my ride or die. As a result of my autoimmune disease I now struggle with a visual disability that impairs my driving ability. I relied on Shannon the past four semesters to get me to and from class and nursing clinicals with the help of my parents and little brother. Without her willingness to help, loyalty, and dependability, I could not have completed the nursing program."

Employment: "I am currently employed at Houston Healthcare in Warner Robins as a nurse extern on the pulmonary unit. I have accepted a full-time position as a Registered Nurse on this unit once I graduate and become a licensed RN."

Degree: Bachelors of Science in Nursing, Class of 2017 (December graduate).

Primary Campus: Macon.

Activities: "Throughout nursing school, I remained involved in volunteer activities. I participated in a back pack ministry for children where you fill book bags with food items and take them to a local school for children who may not receive meals over the weekend, due to economic issues that were out of their control. Over the summer of 2017 I volunteered at Camp Good Grief. This is a free camp for children ages 5 to 17 who have experienced the loss of a parent, sibling, grandparent, aunt, uncle, or anyone who has been important in their lives. At camp, children are able to express themselves and meet others their age dealing with similar situations. I found out about this opportunity through a community health nursing clinical I attended at Hospice Options of Warner Robins. It was such a great experience. The children left a lasting impact on my life and I hope I was able to do the same for them. I plan to continue to volunteer at this camp annually as long as my work schedule allows me. In fall 2017 I volunteered at an 'Apple A Day' 5K and Ortho Georgia’s Labor Day road race, helping direct the runners or stuffing the participants' bags that were filled with their t-shirts and other things. I volunteered at SenseAbilities of Warner Robins, where once a month parents with children who have special needs or challenges can be dropped off for two hours and receive proper care so their parents can have a night out to themselves. I also attended the Stork Symposium hosted by Navicent Health and the Child Abuse Prevention Symposium."

Career Goals: "Choosing nursing as a career was brought on by past experience. At the young age of 8, I was diagnosed with a rare autoimmune disease called juvenile dermatomyositis. I spent 31 days in and out of the ICU at Egleston Children’s Hospital of Atlanta. I later received speech therapy, physical therapy, and occupational therapy to learn how to swallow, talk, hold my own body weight, walk, and write all over again. As you can imagine, spending 31 days in the hospital was a traumatic experience for me, my parents and the rest of my family, but I believe God extended his mercy and grace on me, and I want to repay the kindness, love, and care that was shown to me throughout this difficult time in my life by providing service to those who need love at some of their most vulnerable and weakest moments in life. My ultimate career goal is to one day become a pediatric home health nurse."

She chose Middle Georgia State University because … "I was able to achieve my academic goals through the programs that were offered at the school. Having a visual disability, I depend on others to take me to and from places I need to go. I knew that this wouldn’t be as big of an issue with Middle Georgia State's campuses being close to home."

The greatest thing she discovered about Middle Georgia State was … "That I could be treated like everyone else. I had a hard time transitioning from a teenager with a visual disability to a young adult with a visual disability. All of my needs were always met, and it helped ease me into this transition into adulthood."

Her greatest academic experience as a Middle Georgia State student was … "The interaction with the nursing department faculty. Very rarely do we take the time to acknowledge someone’s impact on our life. I must admit when I was first accepted into the BSN program I was extremely nervous about my success, that my visual impairments might hold me back. From day one the nursing staff members were my biggest advocates. There were very few days that went by where professors did not express to me how proud they were of me. Their encouraging words and kind ways never went unnoticed. I cannot express how much I appreciate everything they have done for me big and small. These professors had such a huge impact on the start of my nursing journey and I will forever be grateful. They gave me that extra boost of confidence that I needed. They made me feel that if I can dream it I can achieve it, and so I did."

To her, “greatness” means … "Having a quality that radiates from the inside out. It is who you are when you honor your values and are living a life of purpose. Greatness can be small or large, but all of it has equal importance. Greatness is not a destination, it is a journey. Once you achieve a goal you automatically set a new one. Surround yourself with people who see that greatness within you. I believe that not only my parents and the faculty and staff at Middle Georgia State helped me find my greatness."

In five years … "I see myself working as a pulmonary nurse and and building on my nursing skills I learned at Middle Georgia State University. My ultimate goal is to become a pediatric home health nurse because I feel that is where my heart leads me. I want to have a long lasting relationship with my patients and their families."