Professor of Nursing, Great Bay Community College
Great Bay Community College
Associate of Science in Nursing, 2009
At the age of 39, Laurie Murray was a paralegal and a law firm manager. She found herself at a crossroads: either pursue law school or start something entirely new.
“I truly craved something new that offered variety. When I started being honest with myself, I realized I was very bored in the legal field.”
For Laurie, the moment of decision arrived when she watched the nurses take care of her daughter following a health condition that required multiple surgeries.
“As I watched the nurses of Dartmouth Hitchcock in Lebanon care for my daughter, a light bulb went off and I thought to myself, ‘I can do this.’ I let this idea percolate the entire two-hour drive home and by the time I pulled into my driveway, I knew 100% that I wanted to become a nurse.”
The next week Laurie enrolled at Great Bay Community College (GBCC).
“I chose Great Bay Community College because they had a very strong nursing program with instructors who all worked in the nursing field.”
Laurie started taking her prerequisites in 2006, and a year later, she started the full-time nursing program while working as a Licensed Nursing Assistant (LNA) in the intensive care unit at Exeter Hospital.
“I worked full-time while taking classes and quickly learned that I needed to have really good time management skills and sheer determination to juggle everything on my plate. When you want something enough, you push through and find a way to get it done. So, that’s what I did.”
While at GBCC, Laurie found a community with her fellow nursing students by joining the Great Bay Student Nurses Association (GBSNA) and a weekly study group, creating in-depth friendships.
“The study group was our support system because we were all going through the same thing and taking the same classes together. It gave us commonality. To this day, our group continues to keep in touch.”
Another key component that impacted Laurie’s success was the support from GBCC’s faculty.
“I’ll be honest, nursing school was stressful. But, my faculty advisor, Dulcinea Kaufman was logical and really good at calming me down. She and the other faculty were always considerate and thoughtful. They genuinely wanted to support all their students and this made a huge difference in helping us get through our program.”
Laurie worked in the ICU at Exeter hospital throughout her education. She graduated with an Associate of Science in Nursing in 2009 and continued her education, earning a Bachelor of Science in Nursing and a Master of Science in Nursing from Chamberlain University.
“While I was a student, I’d hone in on each professor’s teaching style because deep down I knew that one day, I wanted to stand where they did and teach.”
Laurie was offered her first adjunct teaching position in 2014 with GBCC and became a full-time faculty member at the college in 2016.
“I call GBCC the leapfrog. It’s the place where my whole life changed, and it’s been so rewarding. I knew I was ready for a change all those years ago, and it all came together.”
Although the road to finding this passion took time, Laurie will tell you that she wouldn’t have it any other way.
“If there’s something that you truly want to do, my advice is to give it all that you’ve got. Even if it means that it’s going to take time to get where you want to be. You have your entire life to get there and to figure it all out. All you need to do is take that first step. You’ll be really glad you did.”