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Working to Make a Dream Come True

ROSEBURG, Oregon – Since Candi Clark was a little girl, she always wanted to be a nurse. She read books by Florence Nightingale and was always intrigued by the stories she would read. Clark loved reading autobiographical books about nursing, and that’s the way she ended up falling in love with the professional that would lead to her career. For the longest time, she dreamed of working at Mercy Medical Center.

Clark graduated from the Umpqua Community College (UCC) Nursing program in 2018. She was awarded as Outstanding First-Year Nursing Student and also graduated with highest honors. Her dream of working at Mercy came true as she is now a Registered Nurse on the medical floor. Clark says she was able to get through the program with the support from all of her teachers and everyone was like her family in the program.

“They were always pushing me to do my very best,” she said. “Always having the support from my classmates [also helped as] they were my own personal cheerleaders.”

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Clark says she wants to pursue a bachelor’s degree in the future, and notes she will more than likely do it through the OHSU program online because she wants to stay within the area and continue to work at Mercy. She says she chose UCC because she knew she would always go here. In fact, she did not even apply to any other colleges because she knew UCC would be the college for her.

“Anytime that me and my family would come up to visit, I would always come and see the gorgeous campus,” she said.

Clark says something she learned from the program that has really had a big impact on her job now has been all of the hands-on training. She says it was an extremely helpful and amazing experience. Being able to work at the hospital during school helped her so much in that she would already have connections with some of the employees there.

“The Nursing program was something that has and will continue to be very important and special in my life,” she said.

And everyday, she puts the lessons she learned to work. One of Clark’s teachers would start every class presentation by saying “be brave.” Clark says it ended up becoming something she now says to herself every day.

Story by Kenzie O’Sullivan
Student Contributor

About Umpqua Community College

Nestled in the beautiful North Umpqua River Valley, Umpqua Community College is the regional center for higher education in Douglas County, Oregon. UCC provides high quality college degree programs, workforce development, and community learning opportunities.


Chelsea Gillespie-Towne, MSN, RN
Director of Nursing
Phone: 541-440-7879

Ruth Verkuyl
Administrative Secretary for Nursing
Phone: 541-440-4614

Success Stories from Umpqua Community College