Beaufort County


Learn more about the history of nursing in Beaufort County


  • Katie Mae Groce Paul was a pioneer teacher of Licensed Practical Nurses (LPNs) in North Carolina.  She was born on May 10, 1909 in Person County to Reverend J.M. and Ida Gross.  The family moved many times during her childhood as her father accepted different calls to preach.  When Paul was 17, her mother died of pneumonia, and Paul delayed her dream to go nursing school in order to help raise her younger siblings.  She graduated from the Roanoke Rapids School of Nursing in 1932.  Paul was interested in many types of nursing practice, and took advanced nursing classes in Washington DC, St Louis, and Philadelphia before returning to Washington, NC to work as an anesthetist at Tayloe Hospital.  In 1949, just two years after the state legislature legalized the practice of Licensed Practical Nurses; Paul was approached by Nurse Miriam Daughtry, the head of Licensed Practical Nursing education in NC to start an LPN educational program in the region.  Katie Paul said yes.  She started in 1949 with a class of 20 students in the Tayloe Hospital.  She taught all of the courses, both in the classroom and clinical areas.  The program was a success.  In 1958, the program moved into the new Beaufort County Hospital. There, the LPN program used two small rooms behind the delivery room for classrooms, set up a library in the hall, and had no nearby restrooms.  They were pleased to move into well-equipped, spacious classrooms in 1967, with the opening of Beaufort County Community College (BCCC).  Mrs. Paul retired in 1969 after 20 years of nursing and 20 years of teaching nursing.  The LPN program was discontinued at BCCC in 1971 when the new Associates Degree in Nursing program started offering the Registered Nurse (RN) credential.  Mrs. Paul was honored for her contributions to nursing education in Beaufort County when a new nursing education building on the BCCC campus was named for her in 1977.

  •   Georgene G. Eakes of Chocowinity -

        After earning her diploma in nursing from Watts Hospital School of Nursing and a bachelor's degree in nursing from North Carolina A & T tate University in Greensboro, Eakes earned her master's degree in nursing from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and her doctorate of education from North Carolina State University. She currently serves as the director of clinical education with the Center Learning a nd Performance at Vidant Medical Center. Eakes is Professor Emeritus with the College of Nursing at East Carolina University and has served as visiting faculty at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington. She also served as instructor at the Forsyth Technical Institute in Winston-Salem, and worked in a variety of nursing positions throughout the Southeast. She is a recognized nurse theorist and has authored many research papers on nursing care throughout her career. Eakes has received numerous awards, including The East Carolina University Scholar Teacher Award and the North Carolina Nurse Educator of the Year awarded by the North Carolina Nurses Association. She hold numerous memberships in professional organizations, including Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing, Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society, and the End-of-Life Care Consortium for Eastern North Carolina.


Beaufort County Community College began with the operation of a practical nursing program in 1949, under the direction of the State Vocational and Adult Education Department. This was in the first group of Practical Nursing programs in NC.

  • Alma Parker , RN  taught nursing at Beaufort County Community College for 28 years.
  • Photograph of the old Tayloe Hospital
  • Photograph of the building and nurses at Fowle Hospital