Science Teacher Returns to School to Become a Nurse | NorthWest Arkansas Community College

Main Content Start

Science Teacher Returns to School to Become a Nurse

Kim, NWACC Student

“My original career was as a science teacher, but I decided that I wanted to use my science knowledge in a more practical way. My older daughter graduated nursing school in 2017, and this inspired me to consider going back to school for nursing,” explained NWACC nursing student Kim Kelley. “As I was taking the prerequisite classes, it confirmed that I was on the right track and nursing was a good fit for me.” 

As a self-proclaimed life-long learner, Kim is enjoying her time back in college and increasing her knowledge in healthcare. She plans to serve others as a nurse and help them navigate challenging health issues. She’d like to focus specifically on women’s health and wellness through childbearing years. 

“Personally, I’ve had many challenges in my own childbearing, and I want to support other women,” she explained. “I plan on working as a labor and delivery nurse when I graduate NWACC.”

After time in the field, Kim intends to earn a Bachelor of Science in Nursing and a Master of Science in Nursing, eventually become a nurse midwife and possibly return to NWACC.

“In the future, I’d like to use my teaching experience to help train new nurses…maybe even with the NWACC nursing program!” she said.

Outside her nursing courses, Kim is active on campus as a member of the Student Nursing Association (SNA). She’s been able to meet other nursing students and attend seminars by local professionals and learn about different areas of nursing, current issues and career opportunities. 

Kim also finds time to serve her community as a volunteer for a Christian 12-step recovery program called Celebrate Recovery. The program is designed to assist those with hurts, habits and hang-ups, including high anxiety, co-dependency, compulsive behaviors, addictions, eating disorders and financial dysfunction. Kim volunteers as a small group leader, a sponsor and a training coach for new leaders, and resides on the technical team.

“I have been so blessed to walk alongside people as they gain freedom from their struggles,” she said.

Due to Kim’s dedication to her educational goals, personal and professional development and involvement in the community, she was recently nominated for the Golden Eagle Award by NWACC nursing instructor, Thea Kaull.

“Kim is a strong student, and helps other students understand the material in their nursing course. She is also helpful in guiding them in finding direction or resources for the course. I really think she represents the students at NWACC and embraces the idea of the campus as a family...,” said Thea.

NWACC students who are nominated for the Golden Eagle Award must have a minimum 3.0 grade point average and demonstrate a commitment to education, social awareness and personal development and be involved in varied activities.

Golden Eagle Award recipients, like Kim, receive a certificate of recognition and a $100 check from the NWACC Foundation at the NWACC Board of Trustees meetings. Monthly recipients of the award may become eligible for consideration as the College’s Distinguished Golden Eagle Award, an honor presented annually that includes additional scholarship money.

“I am honored to receive the Golden Eagle Award! It’s encouraging for me to know that I can be an example to other NWACC students and represent NWACC to the community,” Kim added.



There’s a Place for You Here.

Visit or call 479-986-4000 to learn more about choosing a higher education with NWACC.