Tennis player will apply teamwork learned on the court to nursing

Tennis player will apply teamwork learned on the court to nursing

E mma Fleming, ’22, knows how to apply herself on and off the tennis court. In the four years she’s been at Georgia College, Fleming has achieved nearly 100 individual wins and was voted Peach Belt All-Conference in doubles, all while completing her Bachelor of Science in Nursing.

Emma Fleming
Emma Fleming

Since Fleming was eight years old, she has enjoyed playing tennis. This fall, she’ll begin her fifth year of playing tennis at Georgia College. She was eligible to play another year due to the COVID pandemic when no one played.

Fleming’s general tennis scholarship allowed her to compete on the court while acquiring her nursing degree.

“It’s helped me with school and allowed me to play tennis—the sport that I love,” she said. “This wouldn’t be possible without the scholarship donors.”

Fleming’s record was exemplary throughout her time at Georgia College.

“Emma has been a phenomenal asset to our tennis team and university during the past four years,” said Steve Barsby, assistant athletics director and head tennis coach. “She is a true student-athlete, balancing her tennis on a nationally-ranked team, as well as graduating from GC’s nursing program.”

Fleming especially enjoys the team atmosphere. Some of her teammates are her best friends.

Despite this, she also has a competitive edge.

“I love competing on match days,” she said. “It’s so much fun. I’ve really gotten to know my team while playing a sport I love. It just doesn't get better than that.”

On the academic side, Fleming appreciates lessons she learned from Dr. Talecia Warren, assistant professor of nursing. 

“Tennis has shown me the impact a good team dynamic makes knowing that no matter if you are having a good or bad day, your teammates are there for you while still being responsible for your part. I will take this experience into my future career as a nurse."
– Emma Fleming

“She taught with such passion and cares for her students,” she said. “It felt like she really cared about me. She was more than willing to help me succeed.”

Fleming also learned a lot from Angela Roberts, lecturer in nursing, who was her clinical instructor.

“She taught me how to care for my patients while being efficient in managing a tough patient load,” Fleming said. “She also showed me how to prioritize patient care and treat patients like more than just a number or diagnosis.” 

Emma Fleming prepares to serve the ball.
Emma Fleming prepares to serve the ball.

Playing tennis taught her skills like time management, discipline, leadership and teamwork, that she’ll use in her career.

“Tennis has shown me the impact a good team dynamic makes knowing that no matter if you are having a good or bad day, your teammates are there for you while still being responsible for your part,” Fleming said. “I will take this experience into my future career as a nurse."

Fleming chose to become a nurse because she loves people and wants to build patient-nurse relationships.  

“I want to care for people when they may not have anyone there to care for them,” she said. “A lot of patients, especially with COVID, their family wasn't able to come in as much and visit with them.”

Her next step is to get her master’s degree in Health and Human Performance with a concentration in health promotion.

She looks forward to learning how to prevent acute, chronic diseases and how to live a healthy lifestyle, among other things.

Her career aspirations include working in underserved communities, forensic nursing or epidemiology. Whichever field she goes into, Fleming envisions working as a team with fellow nurses to ensure her patients are cared for. 

“My hope for my future patients is for them to be physically and mentally healthy when they're discharged,” Fleming said. “But more than anything, I want them to leave the hospital knowing they were cared for, and we, as a team, were able to make an impact on them.”