Junior Mckenna Wiggins was inspired by generations of Gamecock nurses in her family to attend UofSC and major in nursing. Even the smallest details align with this nursing family. Mckenna's mother and grandmother coincidentally lived in the same dorm and room while at the university- many years apart.
"I have always been told that nursing is in my blood. Watching my grandmother and mom as excellent nurses was a huge influence. I hope one day to be just as good as they are," said Mckenna.
The tradition of Gamecock nursing began with her grandmother, Donah Cooper. She found her love of serving the community by assisting her OBGYN father and later marrying Mckenna's grandfather, who is a general surgeon. Mckenna's mother, Wendy Wiggins, watched her father and mother go the extra mile for patients and the community and also became a nurse.
Today, Wendy is a Nurse Manager in the WOC (Wound, Ostomy, and Continence) department at Piedmont Hospital in Augusta, GA. All three generations have helped with a high school physicals clinic (founded by a family member) for over 60 years.
Wendy and Donah both attended Mckenna's stethoscope ceremony in May as she entered into upper divsion. The experienced nurses support Mckenna from the sidelines as she navigates her nursing school experience. “When Mckenna had an important nursing exam on wound care, I was able to study with her over the phone and help her prepare. It was a special experience," said Donah.