Going to school during the pandemic was especially difficult for Alexis Murphy who lost her mom due to COVID-19 in January of 2020, mere weeks after starting nursing school at Tidewater Community College.
“The hardest part was my planning mom’s funeral while acclimating to nursing school,” Alexis said. “But it was my way of honoring her to show up for class, not make any excuses and keep moving in my schooling.”
Alexis is one of the hundreds of graduates who will be celebrated during TCC’s 73rd Commencement Exercises on Dec. 20. She will earn an Associate of Science in Nursing.
Alexis has more to celebrate as she recently received a job offer from Sentara Healthcare to join one of the critical care teams at Sentara Leigh hospital. She also received a $5,000 signing bonus.
“My grandmother was a nurse, and I grew up hearing stories about her day. I loved the compassion she had for sick and injured people,” Alexis said.
Alexis is preparing to take her national boards and is confident that she will do well. She attributes much of her success to the nursing faculty who bring a wealth of experience and knowledge to lectures and labs.
State-of-the-art patient simulators added to the learning. “The sim rooms are amazing, and the mannequins seem so natural – they breathe, bleed and have emergency situations. Faculty work behind the scenes to run codes so we know how to react in the clinical setting,” Alexis said.
Nursing students complete 500 “clinical” hours of hands-on training in hospitals and clinics, all before graduation.
“We never missed a beat, and TCC did a really good job keeping the clinicals going during the pandemic,” she added.
Alexis earned two scholarships at TCC including the Ruth Pate Memorial Scholarship and the
Holly Hogge-Biagioni Memorial Nursing Scholarship. She served as secretary of the Student Nurses Association and was a member of Phi Theta Kappa, the honor society for two-year schools.
Alexis also earned her bachelor’s in nursing this December, concurrently with her associate degree, through a special program with Old Dominion University.
Alexis’ husband Eric, who she calls her super support team, will be cheering her success from the stands at Commencement.
“I knew this was what I was meant to do, and I’m so excited to get started,” Alexis said. “My mom received great care in the hospital with COVID, and I want to do the same for other families.”