Alumni Early Achievement Award
Erica S. Carrick
Director of Nursing, Primary Health Care Inc.
(Diploma Practical Nursing 2016; AAS Nursing 2017) – Urban Campus
"I am thankful and grateful for this award. This was very unexpected and I feel so appreciated that my former instructor Amanda Tollari took the time to recognize my achievements. My nursing education has provided a strong foundation for me and I can't say enough about the nursing program. The instructors, Amanda Tollari and Kris Bush to name a couple were instrumental in my success along with my classmates' success. These instructors challenged our growth through asking the "whys" and truly understanding the nursing process. It was through this program that I have continued to have success in my career. DMACC should be so proud of this program and the continued impact each graduate makes on so many levels. I am honored and blessed to be a DMACC nursing student graduate and alumni."
Even with a Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology from the University of Northern Iowa and a Master’s Degree in Public Health from Des Moines University already on her resume, Erica Carrick longed for more fulfillment in her career. With a passion for caring for others, she sought an opportunity to get closer to the bedside by enrolling in the evening/part-time Nursing program at DMACC Urban Campus.
Erica, who now serves as the Director of Nursing at Primary Health Care in Des Moines and occasionally picks up shifts as a nurse at Broadlawns Medical Center, says earning her nursing degree was a proud moment that has allowed her to fulfill her passion for serving others.
“One of my greatest accomplishments was completing the DMACC nursing program as a busy mom of two children and working full-time in an administrative career,” Erica says. “During my time at DMACC, I constantly found creative ways to study and brought books wherever I was. My children could have passed at least a few of the exam questions through my nursing education!”
During her time on Urban Campus, Erica left a lasting impression on staff and students. In nominating her for the Alumni Early Achievement Award, instructor Amanda Tollari, RN, MSN, says Erica’s involvement in extracurricular activities was laudable.
“Erica was an excellent student who was very involved in starting the nursing club AUSNA (Ankeny Urban Student Nurses Association),” Amanda says. “As an alumna, Erica has continued to partner with AUSNA on various projects. She remembered the unique needs of AUSNA and assisted with service projects after she graduated. She has volunteered her time to come in and be part of a professional development panel and answer questions from current students.”
Erica says that giving back helps her continue to move forward.
“Since graduation I have never stopped learning or growing,” she says. “My time at DMACC regularly reminds me of my favorite Thomas Edison quote: ‘Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work’.”
To a person, those in the Nursing Program at DMACC remember Erica as one who never passes up an opportunity.
“She has been a nursing advocate for our part-time program and resource options for the working adult returning to school,” says Dr. Kendra Ericson, DMACC Director of Nursing. “Her leadership skills an innovative thinking have proven invaluable within our nursing programs.”
“It is fairly unusual for someone who recently graduated from nursing school to secure a position like Erica’s with so much responsibility,” DMACC Nursing instructor Steve Orazem, RN, MSN, NE-BC adds. “Erica is certainly a graduate that DMACC can be proud of.”