Special delivery, special connection: New Mississippi nurse pinned by instructor who was former delivery nurse when she was born

Published 8:15 pm Sunday, June 25, 2023

Meridian Community College alumna and Philadelphia native Meagan Edwards is starting her new career journey as an intensive care registered nurse in Mobile, Ala., just a month after graduating from the College in May.

“Going into the arena of cardio-vascular was very much in my wheelhouse,” Edwards said, as she explained that she had been in emergency medical services for nearly 15 years but wanted a change. “I had gotten to the point where it was almost like I was craving more. I wanted to know more. I wanted to be challenged more,” she said.

Her path in the medical field began as she earned her emergency medical technician license and later became a paramedic. “So, a little over 10 years later, I decided to go back and get my nursing degree,” she said and started her MCC Associate Degree Nursing Program studies in January 2022.

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Coming to MCC meant she would encounter a family friend, Christi Jones, an ADN instructor at the College. “I didn’t teach Meagan,” Jones explained, “Meagan was in the evening program, and I am in the day program. But there was still a special connection,” Jones said.

Jones and Edwards’ mom, Pam, graduated from what was then Meridian Junior College in 1985 from the ADN Program. The two had become friends during nursing school and the friendship endured. “Pam and I worked together some in labor and delivery many years ago after graduation,” Jones said. And when Pam gave birth to Meagan in 1988, it was Jones, who was working in labor and delivery, who helped deliver Meagan. Jones keeps a photo of her holding the newborn and posts it on social media in honor of Meagan’s birthday.

To commemorate the completion of the nursing studies and to mark the beginning of a nursing career, schools have pinning ceremonies where instructors place a pin onto the uniform of the student. “I had said early on I wanted to pin this class because I knew Megan was in there and there were some other people there that I had personal connections to, so it was a good day,” Jones recalled.

The MCC instructor noted that she’s not the only College teacher who’s pinned family and close friends and “there’s been at least one other student who I helped deliver,” she said of who she’s pinned during the ceremony.

Jones added, “It is kind of neat that her mother and I went to nursing school together. Even at the pinning, Pam and I talked about how it doesn’t seem that long ago when we were on the stage getting pinned.”

Edwards noted her desire to enter into nursing did stem from her mom. “I’m going to continue this family legacy; my sister is a nurse practitioner in Philadelphia,” she added. Though she knows she will need more experience under her belt, Edwards is thinking about continuing her education and maybe become a physician’s assistant or a nurse anethesist.

The alumna credits her MCC instructors for helping her reach her goal. “They were absolutely wonderful. I can not say enough on how great they were. Especially the fourth-semester instructors we had because they really helped up push over that last step to help us graduate so we could sit for the boards,” she said.

Jones added nursing has been rewarding. “I can look back at it as a very good career – special moments, good moments, hard moments,” she said.

In reflecting on the pinning, Jones continued, “as you get older, you appreciate the specialness of those things. They mean more to you. It’s not just another day at work.”

For more information about MCC’s Associate Degree nursing program, visit meridiancc.edu/adn.