Choosing Centralia College also made financial sense for Amburgy and her family. Tuition at Centralia College did not increase last year and will not increase for the coming college year, making Centralia College a top educational value. The money she is saving by attending here will provide financial resources for the higher tuition rates at a transfer institution.
“By living with my parents while I go to school, not only do we save on tuition, we save on room and board,” Amburgy said. “Besides, the nursing program at the college has a great reputation.”
Amburgy recently expanded her educational goals to include psychology after taking a psychology class this winter taught by Atara MacNamara, associate professor of psychology.
“Professor MacNamara is passionate about her subject,” Amburgy said. “She makes learning easy, and nurses often use psychology when helping children with disease and injury.”
Amburgy didn’t choose nursing as a career lightly, and her interest in psychology is no accident. She began suffering severe hip and joint pain while playing soccer in high school. After many tests, doctors discovered that Amburgy has a rare congenital disorder called Arkless-Graham syndrome. This painful disorder causes her joints to fuse together over time, particularly in her hands, feet, and hips.
“I feel like I can make a real difference with children who are in similar situations,” Amburgy said. “The nurses helped me learn to cope with my disorder and I want to do the same for someone else.”
There is a distinct possibility that, because of her disorder, Amburgy may one day be in a wheelchair, but she is determined to not let it stop her from becoming a nurse and feels that the college is supportive of her goals.
“My instructors have been great, especially Professor MacNamara and Jeff McQuarrie (assistant professor of speech),” Amburgy said. “I take good care of myself and I don’t dwell on it, besides; I have too much to do to let anything get in my way.”