Growing up in a family of nurses it was a family connection that brought Wimberly Melton to East Texas Baptist University.
Her older brother Will Melton (’08) was a senior on the ETBU baseball team and preparing for graduation when Wimberly transferred as a sophomore to her home on the Hill. It was a special time for Wimberly to watch her brother’s senior season on the diamond while preparing to start nursing school.
“What a proud moment it was for me to receive a letter of acceptance to nursing school and I was fully, mentally ready for what was to come,” explained Wimberly.
The fall semester of 2008, Wimberly began nursing school and the challenges that come with clinicals, study groups, patient case studies, care plans, and more clinicals.
“Nursing school for me was by far the most academically challenging task I had faced up until that moment in my life. ETBU nursing school produce the most well-rounded, educated, and competent registered nurses I have ever had the privilege to work with,” said Wimberly. “I will forever be thankful and grateful to my nursing school leadership because, without them, I would not be who I am today. Thank you, Martha Dudley, Leslie Borcherding, Shirley Ballard, and Dub Oliver for seeing the potential in me and never accepting less than the absolute best.”
She remains in contact with her nursing school classmates Megan (Folmar) Jennings, Kristel (Stone) Cameron, and Keiston Bennett as they encourage each other through the different phases of life.
“The relationships built during my time at ETBU are also something I will forever be grateful for,” explained Wimberly. “We had some good times on the Hill together and made memories I will always cherish.”
Upon her graduation in 2010, Wimberly joined the Red Duke Trauma Institute at Memorial Hermann – Texas Medical Center (MH-TMC) in Houston, Texas as a registered nurse. MH-TMC exceeds on average 10,000 patients annually, compared to the average trauma center in the United States servicing about 3,000 to 5,00 patients annually.
Within the trauma unit, nurses are caring for patients who have been injured by motor vehicle accidents, gunshot wounds, falls, stabbings, ATV accidents, and any other unexpected traumatic injuries.
Wimberly was happy as a bedside nurse caring for sick patients and saving lives but the Lord’s plans are bigger than ours. In the Spring of 2020, she was moved into a Nursing Leadership role and now into Nursing Management as the Assistant Nurse Manager of Shock Trauma at ICU at MH-TMC.
“I would not be where I am today, as a nursing leader without the foundation that was built in me at East Texas Baptist University. I thought nursing school was one of the hardest tasks I had completed in my life at the time but it was just a stepping stone for all that was to come,” explained Wimberly. “Each life and professional experience that has come for me post-graduation just grows me to be a stronger woman of God.”
As she entered her career at the age of 22 in a Level I Trauma Center, Wimberly was taken aback and saw some of the darkness the world produces.
“We live in a world that is craving the Lord and it is our job to ensure we share our faith,” said Wimberly. “My faith taught me how to navigate these challenging situations.”
The Lord leading her to ETBU provided her with a firm foundation for professional success as a registered nurse and also how to share her faith in Christ Jesus with the world through her actions and words in what may be their darkest hour.
Whether it is holding the hand of someone in their final moments on Earth or having a conversation with a patient that they will never walk again, Wimberly is able to face those unbearable moments with her faith and strong foundation in Him.