Dulcey Wagner — Associate Degree Nursing (RN)
When we met Dulcey Wagner for this story, she had 22 days of class left until graduation. She was excited and a little apprehensive about those last two tests. But she deserves to be more than a little proud too. She has accomplished a lot already, she’s helped care for her younger brother, Wayne, who had autism for as long as she can remember.
Wayne didn’t breathe for the first two minutes after he was born. It’s left him with ongoing challenges and medical issues. He was diagnosed with autism when he was 2 years old. Today he needs care 24 hours a day, every day. When Dulcey isn’t in class, at clinicals, or helping out with other family chores, she likely is helping take care of Wayne.
It’s a labor of love, and the inspiration for her career. Growing up, Dulcey was always part of Wayne’s care, and traveled to countless doctors’ offices and specialists with him. “I saw so many people who helped my brother growing up. I decided I wanted to do that too. I use those experiences in my coursework and clinical experience. I plan to continue my education at Ohio University this fall, maybe even go beyond my bachelor’s degree. I’d eventually like to do autism research.”
Dulcey recognized the value of North Central State College right away, “I was accepted at NC State and at MedCentral College of Nursing. It was right when they transitioned to Ashland University. I talked with them, and it would have worked too. I just didn’t want to borrow money to go to school. I had worked and saved some money, and I’ve received financial aid and quite a few scholarships over the years. NC State was the right decision for me.” Dulcey will graduate without any college loan debt.
NC State has been a good fit for her too, “Everyone is so nice. The campus is convenient. The faculty have encouraged me. And even with my schedule, I’ve been involved with Phi Theta Kappa since I earned my first 12 credit hours. It really has helped me feel connected, and I like that we are asked to get involved in so many different types of activities here on campus.”
Dulcey knows PTK looks to students to become leaders, “It’s nice to be asked for our input on issues about the college. I try to add my voice so we can help make positive changes for future students. I don’t want any of us to complain, but instead offer ideas that might make the school and experience better.”
This spring, Dulcey was named the All-Ohio Scholar for North Central State College. She was honored at a luncheon in Columbus on April 30, just nine days before she became an NC State Alumna. “I get to wear two tassels (Nursing and PTK), a stole (PTK), honors cords and the All-Ohio Medal. My time at NC State may be coming to an end, but for me it’s just the beginning.”