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Nick Peele has changed oil, changed diapers, and now he is ready to make a change as a nursing student.

From Changing Oil to Changing Bandages: Nursing Student Nick Peele

The technical thinking behind fixing a car is not much different from fixing a patient, but nursing student Nick Peele found that the bedside skills required may be the hardest part to learn. Peele decided to return to school with the support of his wife, Hannah, and his two children, Presley and Hobie, cheering him on, moving on from a 15-year career as an auto mechanic. He is balancing his time in the associate degree nursing (ADN) program with his role as a BCCC ambassador and a father.

“I was wondering if I was using my strengths as an individual to positively impact others,” says Peele. “I thought a career change to healthcare would help affect the lives of others.”

“I am not your typical college student. I was very nervous coming back to school, but the atmosphere has been like a family. It has made coming back to college less overwhelming and proved that I can do it.”

Peele’s family influenced his decision to come back to school. Once he arrived on campus, he felt at home, which made the learning and transition process much simpler. Although he is managing his time with being a father, husband, college student, and an ambassador for Beaufort CCC, everyone is incredibly understanding when it comes to scheduling. BCCC ambassadors represent the college through speaking engagements, parades, marketing, and events.

His wife Hannah works as a physical therapist, so she used her experience in healthcare to coax him into transitioning to the field.

“It has been extremely stressful on Hannah,” he says about his home life, “just with how much time that I have to put into schoolwork, and then I also make sure I am there for my kids because I do not want to miss any of them growing up. In my priorities, they come first, but then nursing school is right behind.”

Being a father has helped him as a nursing student, as he had already learned patience from his children.

About his role as an ambassador, Peele says, “It has been a little overwhelming, but in the same sense, everyone has worked with me, with my schedule, and has made it as easy as possible. It is kind of sad that it is almost over but, in a way, I feel like I've accomplished something as well.”

Overall, he says it has been difficult to balance all his roles as an ambassador, returning college student, a father, and a husband, but it will be worth it for himself, his family, and his future. He wants to be a role model for his children. “One thing that really pushed me to get a degree is my kids. I felt like I wanted to do something that they could be proud of as they got older.”

Becoming an ambassador has really given Peele opportunities and graced him with more confidence. “I think being a part of the ambassador program and having to give speeches and meet new people has really helped me grow as an individual. You get to meet some of the biggest names on campus and they know you by name, that is something I have really appreciated.”

To younger students struggling with their decision to attend college, Peele says, “My advice is when you graduate high school, just start your college classes to get your foot in the door. Get your prerequisite classes out of the way. While you are there, you can find what career you want to do for the rest of your life.”