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People of Centra, Starla Johns

Published on Wednesday June 7, 2023
Starla Johns

Pursuing a Dream: A Journey to Nursing

Starla began the journey towards a career in nursing when she became a student at Centra College in January 2019 and entered the Licensed Practical Nursing (LPN) Program. Starla had always admired the role nurses played in caring for others, but her desire to join the field was confirmed after her personal experience at Centra Virginia Baptist Hospital’s (VBH) Labor & Delivery Unit where she delivered her son in 2019 and realized that she wanted to be there for others during one of the most special moments of their lives.

This confirmation led her to obtain her RN after the successful completion of her LPN, knowig that she would need to become an RN if wanted to be able to work on Centra’s Labor & Delivery Unit. Because of the strong preparation that Centra College’s LPN Program provided, she described obtaining her RN as, “a piece of cake,” even as she balanced classes and homework with work on the Cardiac Intermediate Medical Unit (CIMU).

Now an RN, Starla currently works on VBH’s Labor & Delivery Unit and says, “I wake up excited every day to go to work!” She explained that experiencing every labor and delivery journey alongside the mothers and their families is the most rewarding part of her work. Starla has even been recognized by mothers that she cared for while in public and she always enjoys getting to hear stories about their positive experiences on the Labor & Delivery Unit and how their babies are doing.

When asked why she chose Centra College for her nursing education, Starla highlighted the financial stability it offered along with the shorter time commitments of the two-year RN program and the one-year LPN program. After becoming a student, Starla found that each of her instructors were genuinely supportive and treated her more like a colleague than just another nursing student.
Specifically, Starla credits Ashley Foster and Lory Sibcy who both taught Labor & Delivery as two of her role models that provided invaluable guidance and knowledge allowing Starla to deepen her understanding of the L&D field. 

At present, Starla is in her final months of obtaining her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Centra College and is excited to advance further in her nursing career by completing the program in August.
Outside of her work and studies, Starla's main focus is her 4-year-old son who brings immense joy to her life. She and her husband are also expecting a baby girl adding even more excitement (and busyness!) to their lives very soon.

Starla shared that one piece of advice that has continually resonated with her is, “Always follow your dreams.” There is no doubt that Starla has truly taken this advice to heart in her own life by pursuing her LPN, RN and BSN in order to fulfill her own personal dream–becoming a Labor & Delivery Nurse!

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