Western nursing professor named one of state’s ‘Great 100’

CULLOWHEE – Sharon Metcalfe, assistant professor of nursing at Western Carolina University, is among 100 nurses from across the state recently named to “The Great 100,” an annual recognition of North Carolina nurses who demonstrate excellence in practice and commitment to their profession.

Sharon Metcalfe

Sharon Metcalfe

Metcalfe, who received the honor at a formal gala evening held at the Koury Convention Center in Greensboro, was nominated for the Great 100 for her contributions to nursing educational preparation and financial support as the educational grants researcher for Mission Hospitals Health System.

The Great 100 awards honor nurses who go beyond the call of duty and make a difference in the quality of care delivered in their practice areas. In addition to recognizing 100 nurses each year, The Great 100 organization solicits contributions for nursing scholarships. Since its inception in 1998, the group has awarded more than $150,000 in nursing scholarships.

At Western, Metcalfe is manager of a newly established learning hub designed to provide additional support to nursing students from the westernmost counties of North Carolina who are working on their degrees from their home communities via distance education. Based on the main campus in Cullowhee, the hub is designed to serve students from Cherokee, Clay, Graham, Haywood, Jackson, Macon and Swain counties.

A second hub located in Morganton on the campus of Western Piedmont Community College and managed by Julia Wetmore, visiting assistant professor of nursing, serves students from Alexander, Alleghany, Ashe, Avery, Burke, Caldwell, Catawba, Cleveland, Lincoln, McDowell, Mitchell, Rutherford, Watauga and Wilkes counties.

The hubs are the latest additions to the WCU nursing department’s popular Capstone Program. Initiated in 1980 at the urging of WNC health care leaders who saw the need for additional training for their nursing staffs, the Capstone Program helps registered nurses with hospital diplomas or two-year college degrees work toward completion of their bachelor’s degrees while continuing to keep their full-time jobs.