NPC salutes Outstanding Alumnus - Robin Hendricks
While a nursing student at Northland Pioneer College, 2004 - 2007, Winslow resident Robin Hendricks served as a science lab aide and helped tutor her fellow nursing students.
Now Robin is using her NPC degree as an obstetrics nurse at Flagstaff Medical Center to mentor new moms to care and feed their infants.
Robin's love of learning and sharing her knowledge was recognized with an Outstanding Alumnus Award presented during the Jan. 20, 2009 meeting of the Navajo County Community College District Governing Board.
Born and raised in Libby, Montana, Robin became interested in a medical career while serving as an Army medic at Fort Bliss in El Paso, Texas. But when her four-year enlistment was up, she decided to study psychology instead, receiving her bachelor's degree from Utah State University.
While husband Berkley worked as a teacher at Pinon, Robin opted to stay home to care for their two sons, Landon (now 8) and Gideon (now 5) and to prepare for the birth of Wyatt (now 3). Getting by on a teacher's salary was getting difficult for the growing family.
"I considered going back to school to complete my master's in psychology. But a waitress makes more money and has better hours than a counselor," commented Robin. Berkley learned that NPC offered nurses' training in Winslow, so Robin applied, and was accepted into the program.
"Here I was, in my early 30s, returning to school. Wyatt was just 3 months old when I started my nursing studies. It was pretty grueling. But my instructors, especially Dr. (Jim) Jacob and Dana Jolly, got me through it," she said.
To supplement the family income, Robin became a science lab aide and tutored other students. If money were no object Robin says she would be a "lifetime student." When her boys are grown, the newest addition, Owen, is now 1, she wants to return to school to become a nurse practitioner.
"I really like being an OB nurse, taking care of the new moms, helping them breastfeed and care for their newborns. It is a happy place to work," she adds with a little lift to her voice. But you can also sense a desire to keep learning.
Her three-days-a-week schedule at FMC and Berkley's schedule as a GED instructor at the Arizona Department of Corrections facility in Winslow still allow plenty of time with family, one of Robin's favorite activities. She also enjoys crafts and crotchet and is very active in her church. She also volunteers in her sons' classrooms.
As an Outstanding Alumnus, Robin receives a three-credit-hour tuition gift certificate, which she hinted she might use to take a yoga class. "It's something I always wanted to do." She will also receive a $25 bookstore gift certificate and a pass to NPC Performing Arts events.
The Outstanding Alumnus Award Program honors NPC students for being examples of lifelong learning or are using their education to improve their communities. To nominate former NPC students for the award, click here. To read about other Outstanding Alumni, click here.