A Degree That Delivers

Madison King Philpot (’22) is a native of Jackson, so when she was able to find a job at Jackson-Madison County General Hospital after graduating from college, she was thrilled, to say the least.

Philpot (pronounced “FILL-poe”) earned her bachelor of nursing degree from the University of Tennessee at Martin in May 2022, and is a labor and delivery nurse at the hospital.

“I did residency that started in June 2022 after I graduated,” Philpot said. “Then, you go through the rotations of all the different floors, and then, you sit through the interviews of all the departments that you really like, and you hope for an offer from one of those.

“I officially started with labor and delivery in August. It feels great! I was actually born in that hospital.”

She said that while her college training was excellent, the real-world experience in the hospital has been helpful as well.

“I’ve really been blessed with a good group,” she said. “They have a bunch of seasoned nurses who have taken us new grads under their wing and taught us so much. Nursing is such a ‘team sport’ – it really is. You have your patients that you are assigned to, but we all work together to take care of everybody and make sure that everybody has the best care.

“You graduate from nursing school and you think, ‘OK, I’ve got this,’ and then, you show up for work and you think, ‘Oh, there’s so much more that they couldn’t possibly cover (in school).’”

Philpot said that while there is a difference between classroom settings and real-world applications, she has been well-prepared by her instructors at UT Martin.

“Martin did prepare us with a very extensive amount of clinical hours,” she said. “But, with labor and delivery being a specialty, when you graduate and start in a specialty, you have to really hone in to the fact that both skills (classroom and real-world) are going to be applicable to that.

“That’s been a whole new perspective, too, but I’ve really enjoyed it, and I’ve had a really good group that taught me a lot.”

Philpot has found that she is combining the lessons learned in clinical classrooms as well as those learned in her real-world “classroom” to succeed at her job.

“I feel like Martin prepared me really well with the amount of class time and clinical hours that we had,” she said. 

Philpot said she was inspired to go into labor and delivery because she was interested in taking care of new mothers and their new family members.

“This is a life-changing event, obviously,” she said. “Being able to enjoy that and share that joy with people is great.

“It can be hard sometimes and not always a happy occasion, but I enjoy being at the bedside with those patients and get to build relationships with them and encourage and advocate for them.”

Philpot was inspired to go into the field of medicine by her parents. Her father, Dr. Michael King (’88), is a dentist in Jackson (and a UT Martin graduate), and her mother, Michelle, is a dental hygienist in Michael’s office.

“I knew that I wanted to work in health care in some capacity from the time I was very young,” Philpot said. “That definitely played a part in that, because that’s what I saw my parents doing.

“Ultimately I chose nursing because I love working directly with the patients at their bedside. I just really love that aspect of it and getting to build that relationship with them.”

Learn more about the UT Martin Department of Nursing at utm.edu/nursing or follow them on social media @utm_nursing.

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