Denver Payne ’20 describes herself as a 30-year-old non-traditional transfer student who finally found the courage to finish the degree she started many years ago. Having grown up in Perry, Georgia, Denver attended Georgia Military College in Warner Robins for two years and graduated with her associate’s degree in pre-nursing in 2007.
“I prayed before I took my nursing entrance exam on the second floor of Willet Library, ‘God if it’s your will, let me pass this exam, and if not, I will find another path.’ That day I scored a 90% on the nursing entrance exam and was automatically accepted to Wesleyan.” Denver entered the program in the fall of 2018 and has completed two semesters.
Learning and working in group settings with intelligent women who have different personalities but share similar goals is one of the things Denver values most about her Wesleyan experience. She represents her class on Wesleyan’s nursing board where she serves as the liaison between students and professors. “This position has helped build my confidence and my communication skills. Wesleyan has a great reputation for developing women who are strong, intelligent, and who become leaders in today’s society. The faculty are like family to me. They want students to be as successful as possible.”
Denver is interested in several paths of nursing including a specialization in surgery, neonatal care, pediatrics, geriatrics, and serving heart patients. After gaining experience as a nurse, she plans to further her education and hopes to return to Wesleyan as a nursing professor.
Several of Denver’s family members attended Wesleyan, including her grandmother Claire Houser-Dodd ’53. She is the recipient of a Legacy Scholarship and was awarded the Woodward-McNeill Nursing Scholarship and the Brook-Cole and Speir Scholarship. Her first semester on campus, she earned the honor of being named to the Provost’s List. At Honors Day in April, Denver received the Distinguished Junior Award for having the highest GPA in her nursing cohort.
“I am a Christian who believes in working as hard as I can and leaving the rest up to God. I think I’m right where I am supposed to be. The professors push us to be our best. They cheer us on during our greatest moments, support us when we have doubts, and wrap their arms around us during the hard times. I could not imagine going through nursing school anywhere else but Wesleyan College.”
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