Kim Hawkins has joined the staff at Darlington as a nurse in the Student Health Center.
Hawkins holds an A.S. in Nursing from Floyd Junior College and a B.S. in Nursing from West Georgia College. The registered nurse has 34 years of experience in the medical field, most recently as a contracted anesthesia, pre-operative and pain management nurse at Redmond Regional Medical Center.
Hawkins has worked in a variety of hospital settings, including the recovery room, outpatient surgery, oncology, gastroenterology lab, anesthesia and pre-operation. She holds certification in CPR and advanced cardiovascular life support.
“The role of the Health Center is to collaborate with the heads of house and with teachers as a bridge to the kids,” said Hawkins. “We fill the role like a mother to these children. It is a great opportunity to make the kids feel more at home.”
Beyond serving Darlington’s student population, she can also be seen helping other members of the community, from teachers to security guards and maintenance personnel, offering advice and answering questions when possible.
Hawkins is a native of Cedartown, Ga., where she lives with husband Mark and daughter Maggie (’20); a cat, William; and a dog, Buddy.
As the mother of a current Darlington student, she has been heavily involved as a room parent and a class nurse on field trips, and has also volunteered to help plan dances and eighth-grade graduation. Before becoming a full-time employee at Darlington, Hawkins served last spring as a fill-in Health Center nurse and began building relationships with the students.
“I fell in love with the kids in the dorms and then cried my eyes out at graduation after only knowing the students for eight weeks,” shared Hawkins.
Upon the retirement of former Health Center Director Renate Starr, Hillary Thomas was promoted to the position, opening the opportunity for Hawkins to work at Darlington as the newest full-time nurse on staff.
“We chose Darlington for our daughter a few years ago because of the opportunities. I felt that the experience Maggie could get here she could get nowhere else in Rome," said Hawkins. "When we first came and saw how great the Darlington Community was—the camaraderie—and just how welcomed we felt, I knew I wanted to be a part of that, too."
In the near future, Hawkins looks forward to holding CPR and automated external defibrillator (AED) classes for Darlington’s faculty and staff to prepare them for emergency situations that could arise on and off campus.
“When you are on staff here, you are able to become more involved in things that you don't always get to see as a parent,” she added. “It has been so much fun getting to know everybody, and I already feel like I’ve been here for a long time.”
Hawkins and her family attend First Presbyterian Church in Rome. She has served in the surrounding community as a volunteer at the Polk County food bank and as a nurse at the Coosa Valley Fair.
In her free time she enjoys running, exercising, camping, hiking, riding bikes and photography.