College nursing program celebrates 10th anniversary

By Stephen Cowles
The Tidewater News
Boyce RogersDr. Candace Rogers, third from left, was presented an award by Associate Professor of Nursing Carol Wright. Dr. Douglas Boyce, right, was also honored during the celebration. Joining them is College President Paul Wm. Conco, Ph.D.
When accepting honor for her role in guiding the nursing program at Paul D. Camp Community College, Dr. Candace Rogers, RN, said, “It’s not one person, it’s everyone.”
Indeed, she was among a dozen individuals and organizations recognized for their part in establishing and nurturing the curriculum, which began formally in autumn of 2004. A reception and awards ceremony marked the program’s 10th anniversary on Friday evening at the Hilton Garden Inn in Suffolk.
When Rogers joined the college that year, she brought two decades of experience both as a nurse and administrator. In her 10 years since, the nursing syllabus has grown to include Practical Nursing and several Allied Health programs. She retired last July, and Debbie Hartman now serves as dean.
Before presenting the award, faculty member Carol Wright said of Rogers, “She made an indelible impression on my life. Her decision to lead in 2004 had a significant impact on the college and community. She built the foundation…I never met a person with more vision. She led us there with much courage…and she’s touched more lives than she will ever know.”
Dr. Doug Boyce, president emeritus of the college, was applauded by Dr. Joe Edenfield, vice president of administration and technology, for his continued efforts and he got to welcome the first nursing program. For example, Boyce and other related personnel fostered the beginning of the college’s freestanding Applied Science in Nursing program. Funding was provided by then-Obici Hospital — now Sentara Obici Hospital, another contributor.
Dr. Maxine Singleton was “instrumental in academic leadership,” said Trina Jones, dean of student services and professional counselor. Singleton was recruited by the late Dr. Jerome Friga, the college’s fifth president, who is credited for developing the nursing program at PDCCC. In addition to establishing a partnership with Tidewater Community College’s own nursing curriculum, Singleton sought financing for one at PDCCC. This is where Franklin-Southampton Charities comes into the story. FSHC gave enough money for the first two full nursing classes. Those students did not have to pay for books, fees and tuition. An early laboratory and a 15-passenger van were also gifts of the charity.
Betsy Brantley, adjunct faculty for health information management and medical terminology, was another honoree, and was praised by Ann Pinner, associate professor for nursing.
“When we had the partnership with TCC, [Barbara] was kind of the bridge between the two programs. She really was a liaison,” Pinner said. “She did a lot of student advising, and was kind of the glue that held the programs together until Dr. Rogers was hired.”
Barbara Ridenhour was introduced by Linda Chitwood, assistant professor for medical surgical nursing. When Pinner told her of what she believed was an unfair situation at the hospital, “Barbara made it her business to solve that program. She acted.”
Ridenhour was personally chosen by Friga in making sure the nursing program met the Virginia Board of Nursing’s seal of approval. The former director of nursing at Obici, she also helped Singleton to develop the application process for college’s nursing program.
But all the good intentions and expert planning from the aforementioned honorees would have come to naught had there been no funding. In addition to the beneficence of FSHC and Sentara Obici, the nursing program also has been nourished by the following:

  • Birdsong Corporation; Charles Birdsong was present to receive an award;
  • The Camp Family Foundation;
  • Hampton Roads Community Foundation;
  • The Obici Healthcare Foundation; Tammie Mullins-Rice accepted the honor; and
  • Southampton Memorial Hospital; Laurie Ross received the award.