For Christina King, enrolling in the nursing program at Great Bay Community College was both a smart, economical decision as well as a family tradition.
Her sister, Katie, graduated with an Associate in Science degree in nursing in 2020. “She had nothing but good things to say,” said King, who enrolled this fall and plans to pursue a bachelor’s degree after completing the two-year program.
“I chose Great Bay because it has a phenomenal reputation. Great Bay nurses get hired everywhere,” she said. “And it’s affordable. More students should look at Great Bay, especially for nursing.”
King made her college education more affordable because she began earning college credits as a student at Exeter High School through Great Bay’s Running Start program, now known as Early College at Your High School.
Early College at Your High School courses are college courses, taught by high school professors, on the high school campus. College faculty work directly with high school faculty to ensure the courses maintain standards of sections taught on the college campus. Great Bay Community College and the other NH Community Colleges also offer an Early College on a College Campus program and Early College online.
Successful completion earns both high school and college credit. She recommended the Running Start program to current high school students to get a head start on college credits. King jump-started her career through the Running Start courses, and she appreciated the opportunity to earn affordable college credits while in high school. Taking courses at both Exeter High School and the Seacoast School of Technology, she was able to earn a total of 7 credits before even arriving at GBCC.
Beginning with her junior year, she enrolled in a two-year Seacoast School of Technology program. First-year students learn medical terminology and body science, and gain insight into various healthcare professions. In the second year, students receive an internship and become certified in CPR. Before finishing high school, King received her LNA and BLS through the program. “Not only did I get an amazing education, but I also was able to get an LNA job. I spent some time at Portsmouth Regional Hospital on the Intermediate Care Unit.”
She chose nursing because she has always enjoyed working with people. As she is just beginning her studies at Great Bay, she is unsure where her nursing path will take her, but her instincts tell her she wants to specialize in nursing care for cancer patients.
“I want to go into the program with an open mind and learn more and get more clinical insight, but I am leaning toward oncology. Cancer care requires a lot of positive thinking, and that fits my personality,” she said. “I am outgoing, and I can commiserate with anybody about anything. It’s such an honor to support someone at their worst and be with them through the healing process.”
King is certain she made the right decision. “The professors are all so personable. I already feel supported and motivated by them. They genuinely want us to succeed,” she said. “I have very high hopes for the next two years.”