Published on April 05, 2019

Little Wraps Up 30-Year Career at NMMC

Debra Little retirementCoworkers at the NMMC Heart and Vascular Institute honored Debra Little (center) with a retirement reception March 27 after 30 years of service.

Debra Little of the Heart and Vascular Institute has retired from North Mississippi Medical Center after a 30-year career.

A Dorsey native, Little graduated from Itawamba Agricultural High School in 1975. She worked as a secretary and for a mortgage company while raising her three children, then was ready for a change. She longed for a career like the one her sister, Linda Edwards, had as a registered nurse at NMMC. “I thought she had the best job in the world,” Little said.

She joined the NMMC staff in 1989 as a “floater” and reported to the nursing office each day for her assignment. “I mainly worked as a monitor tech in ICU and as a ward secretary on different floors,” she said. “That helped me so much in nursing school because at the end I knew where I wanted to work. And also as a ward secretary I had to read the doctor’s orders. I could read all of their handwriting by the time I got out of nursing school.”

She received her associate degree in nursing from Itawamba Community College in 1991 and continued to work while earning her bachelor’s degree in nursing from Mississippi University for Women in 2013. Little says she was able to work and go to school because of NMMC’s support. “NMMC offered tuition reimbursement for my associate and bachelor’s degrees,” she said. “When I was in school, my boss, Lindon Ratliff, was always good to rearrange my schedule if needed for class or tests.”

After graduation she became a registered nurse in the Medical Intensive Care Unit. “I felt comfortable as a nurse there because I had the best training from some very seasoned nurses,” she said. She spent nine years in MICU, including serving as a charge nurse.

In 2000 she transferred to the Emergency Department, and in 2006 she became an assistant house supervisor, then house supervisor. In 2014, Little transferred to the Heart and Vascular Institute because “heart patients are my favorite,” she said.

While she has retired from NMMC, Little is not quite ready to hang up her stethoscope. She and former coworker Regina Robbins plan to do some travel nursing assignments together. “I love to travel and to take photos wherever I go,” she said.

Retirement will allow more time with her three children—Christy Carr and Max Little of Unity, and Jon (Candyce) Little of Tupelo—and her four grandchildren—Blake Carr and Christopher, London and Aspen Little. She also plans to finish remodeling her home in Dorsey, and to draw and paint more.

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