Doctors in the House

UNCW earns elevated Carnegie Classification as a Doctoral University

At the end of 2018, UNCW received an elevated designation to “Doctoral University: High Research Activity” from the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education. This prestigious distinction positions UNCW to recruit even more high-quality faculty and graduate students, resulting in an even richer academic experience for all students.
Recent graduate Anna Shaw Kirk appeared on the cover of the Spring 2019 issue of UNCW Magazine and said it was an honor to acknowledge her love for UNCW by doing so. Kirk, now a three-time UNCW graduate (BSN ’02, MSN ’06, and DNP ’19), shared her thoughts on her experience with the university that prepared her to achieve her academic goals.
What made you choose UNCW for your (three!) degrees?
I began my nursing career in 1991 following completion of the ADN program at Southeastern Community College in Whiteville, NC. I worked for several years as an RN at Columbus Regional Healthcare and was encouraged by leadership to obtain a BSN degree. During that time, UNCW began offering satellite classes in Whiteville. Dr. Virginia Adams and Dr. Betty Glenn taught my first class and inspired me to reach beyond the walls of Columbus County to achieve all my dreams and aspirations, which was one day to become Dr. Anna Shaw Kirk. Therefore, my decision to choose UNCW was divine. UNCW came to me in my rural town. The university became that light along a dark path that led me from one path to another with bigger and brighter lights (RN-BSN, MSN-FNP and DNP), preparing me to fulfill my role as a leader committed to promoting excellence in the nursing profession.  

The School of Nursing at UNCW has always been comprised of dedicated, compassionate and supportive leadership. For me, this began with Dr. Virginia Adams, Dr. Julie Taylor, and then Dr. Linda Pugh and Dr. Matthew Gallek. I must admit that I came with a fire already lit, but they showed me how to contain my fire. I learned that every fire did not have to consume, but purge, purify and improve, which is much needed in healthcare today.

What are your plans post-graduation?
As a DNP-prepared nurse practitioner, my plans are to utilize the leadership skills acquired to further assess areas in which evidence-based practice changes are needed. I currently work for an insurance company and find this a great place to start.

What advice do you have for students considering attending UNCW?
The best advice I can give to students considering attending UNCW, especially nursing students, is to not be afraid to move outside of your comfort zone. The faculty and staff are more invested in your success than you can imagine. The harder you work, the harder they will work for you. If I can come from a small community hospital in a rural town with an associate degree and leave one day with a Doctor of Nursing Practice degree, so can you.

-- Jennifer Glatt