James promoted to AHS 2nd floor unit manager

Published 8:25 pm Thursday, February 26, 2009

For more than 40 years, Tommie James has made nursing a career, and today is no different.

Three weeks ago, James was promoted from floor supervisor to unit manager of the second floor at Andalusia Regional Hospital.

James started his medical profession in 1968 as a nurses’ aide while still in high school. He said he’d hoped to one day become a doctor but was told he’d “never be more than a nurses’ aide” by a high school guidance counselor.

A bachelor’s and two master’s degrees later, James has now proven that counselor wrong.

“I believed her for 10 years and it kind of held be back a bit, but I was able to do all of my degree’s online,” James said. “I haven’t aspired to be a doctor for a good number of years but I’m proud of what I have been able to accomplish.”

James holds a master’s degree in health administration and a master’s of science degree in nursing/gerontology.

During his tenure as a nurse, he has worked in several different hospitals around the nation. But it seemed that no matter how hard he tried to leave Andalusia, he kept coming back home. Now, he plans to stay.

“I love nursing,” he said. “It’s my passion. I love helping people. Observing them get better or going to a peaceful death — it’s the most rewarding part of being a nurse. You know then you’ve helped them.”

James said he has three and a half years before he plans to retire.

“I’m going to enjoy it all,” he said.

James has three children, Gwendolyn Fields and Terrance Davis, both of Pascagoula, Miss., and Donald Davis of Andalusia.