Oral history Sandy McMillan, RN, PHN 2010
Sandy McMillian (13:58-18:27)
MB: My name is Melissa Bayne and we’re in Wilmington, North Carolina on Thursday October
28th, 2010 conducting a nursing interview for the Public Health Association conference.
What is your name?
SM: Sandy McMillon.
MB: And when were you born?
SM: November the 16th (unintelligible).
MB: And where did you grow up?
SM: In Lenoir County, Kinston, North Carolina.
MB: Why did you decide to become a nurse and what most attracted you to nursing?
SM: I enjoyed taking care of the sick.
MB: Where and when did you go to nursing school?
SM: 1985 I graduated from Fayetteville Tech Community College in Fayetteville, NC.
MB: Please tell me a little about your nursing education, especially as it relates to community or
Why did you decide to become a community health nurse?
SM: At the time it was better for my schedule and my family, the hours, the working hours. And
I wanted some more experience working in a different area of nursing.
MB: Please tell me about your first job in community health.
SM: When I came to the health department, the Cumberland county health department in
Fayetteville in 1987 I started, at that time we were all phases, meaning we did clinics, we did
home visiting covering the district, and we also worked in the schools. So it was a heavy
workload but I got a lot of good experience and I enjoyed it. I’ve been with the health
department on and off three times and this is my third time back.
MB: Could you describe your current position?
SM: I’m a school health team leader of the school nurses.
MB: Please tell me your most memorable story about community health nursing. This can be a
time you made a significant contribution to your community, or a time when something went
horribly wrong, or something surprising that happened to you as a community health nurse. Or a
memory of a nurse who inspired you. Or anything else you would like to share.
SM: Okay. My second time working for the health department, a satellite health department out
in Spring Lake which is a few miles out… (Unintelligible). It was like a mini health department,
and I was the charge nurse assigned there. So setting that up I got a lot of experience about how
to set up a small health department that covered all the major things we did at a larger health
MB: Is there a story you would like to share about a nursing experience?
SM: Yes. I can recall one time I had to do a vision screening on kindergarten student. I
completed the vision screening and took the student back to the classroom, and as I was getting
ready to take the student into the classroom the student looked up at me and said “Why do you
not have any eyebrows?”. And I thought, wow I don’t think there’s anything wrong with your
vision. But community health is a wonderful area of nursing to work in, to work with people.
MB: If you had to do it again would you become a community health nurse? Why or why not?
SM: Yes I would. Because of the flexibility. There’s so many areas that you can go into.
MB: Is there anything else you would like to share with nurses in the future who are interested in
community health nursing in 2010?
SM: Yes, I would like to encourage you to do it and you can do it.
MB: Alright well thank you very much.