This profile is part of a series that highlights Chesapeake College graduates serving on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic. For more in this series, visit our Alumni Profiles page.
Name & Title: Jessica Fluharty, MSN, RN, FNE-A
Current Position/Employer: Director of Critical Care and Emergency Services at Shore Regional Health
What impact did your experience at Chesapeake College have on your life?
Chesapeake College had an enormous impact on my life. Being able to obtain the degree that I wanted, this close to home was so beneficial. I was able to attend college, raise my child and work; all while obtaining my degree. The relationship that Chesapeake College has with Shore Regional Health (SRH) was one of the reasons I’m still here today. As a nursing student, I was always welcomed by the staff at SRH. So much so, it encouraged me to get a job here prior to graduating nursing school. I started as a Collegiate Nurse and then became an Emergency Department Nurse after I graduated college. I owe my jump start to success to Chesapeake College. The nursing program there is extremely challenging and it has made me the Nurse and Leader that I am today.
How are you serving your community in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic?
During Covid, I have been the second in Command for the Medical Branch on our Incident Command System here at SRH. I have assisted with the design and organization of the Emergency Tents that have been placed around our community. I have also assisted with designing our Surge plan for our nurses. Researching and investigating different models of care and looking at how we can care for people differently with limited resources. Amongst many other things, I’m serving my community by following the guidelines that are set in place. Wearing a mask and being quarantined is not fun, none of us like it. However, it’s a necessary prevention tactic that we must all comply with to help flatten the curve here in our community.
How did your experience at Chesapeake College prepare you for your current career?
My experience at Chesapeake College showed me the different avenues that I could take in Nursing. It showed me to never give up. School wasn’t always easy for me, but the staff and instructors at Chesapeake College encouraged me to continue to push hard towards my goals. I have Mrs. Higgs, Heather Westerfield, Crystal Farina, Dr. Seal-Whitlock, Mrs. Nancy Hubbard and more to thank for that. Also, my class mates; the encouragement that we gave one another was amazing. I’m blessed to say that some of us still remain contact and supportive of one another today.
What has been your most rewarding professional achievement/experience since graduating from Chesapeake College?
My most rewarding professional achievement since graduating from Chesapeake College was having my daughter watch me walk across the stage to receive my Master’s Degree in Nursing Leadership and Management. She was born a few weeks before I started nursing school. Many people told me that I would not be able to continue because I was a new mom and I would not be able to donate the time and energy needed to both school and a new baby. Having her watch me walk the stage was one of my most proud moments of my life!
What advice would you like to give to current or prospective Chesapeake College students?
Go for it! Keep it up! You can do it! Don’t quit! No matter what life throws at you, remain diligent and consistent. Set your goals high and continue to work towards them. Take the chance. Ask the question, the worst thing anyone will say to you is No. Continue to learn and grow even after graduation. Learning never stops. I do my best to learn something new every day. It may be a new perspective or a new piece of information, but it’s something every day!
Jessica Fluharty graduated with an Associates degree in 2009. She went on to earn a BSN and MSN from Wilmington University.