PRCC student stood out in class and career | People
The following is a press release from Pearl River Community College:
Practical nursing instructors at Pearl River Community College’s Forrest County Center never had trouble finding Clinton Hammond in class.
“At 6’4”, an African_American male, he was easy to spot in a class of all women, which he thought was cool,” said Susan Bedwell, program director.
Hammond may have been going against the grain in pursing a career in a field traditionally dominated by women but that didn’t figure into his decision to study nursing.
“I didn’t really think about that because the only job I’ve ever had was in a hospital,” he said. “I was pretty used to the idea of that.”
Hammond went through the PRCC nurse’s aide program in 2008, completed certification requirements and worked first in a long-term care facility and then at Wesley Medical Center. He had applied for PRCC’s practical nursing program when he became acquainted with the late Barbara Hayman.
“I took care of her when she on my unit at Wesley,” he said. “I was just a tech.”
Hayman, a registered nurse for 54 years, began her lifetime commitment to nursing in 1956 and continued past retirement, working as an educator at Wesley. A leader in healthcare and an educator at the local, state and national level. Hayman was inducted into the Mississippi Nurses Association Hall of Fame in 2009. She also served as Wesley’s director of education and director of human resources.
“We were talking about something and I had just mentioned that I had done the paperwork to apply for the PRCC program,” Hammond said. “She said, ‘Well, I know Susan Bedwell so I could give you a good recommendation.’.”
Hayman, who passed away in June 2011, guided countless students like Hammond over the years, Bedwell said.
“Mrs. Hayman recognized Clinton’s potential and encouraged him to pursue his career in healthcare,” she said.
Hammond, who continued working part time at Wesley while in school, graduated from Pearl River’s program in July.
“It’s a great program with great instructors,” he said, adding that he’s recommended it several times to others.
Work will be enough for the time being, but he plans to return to Pearl River for an associate’s degree in nursing.
“My goal is to be an RN,” Hammond said. “I will start on that in about another year.”