Darrin Pulver, of Great Meadows, knew in high school that he wanted to be a nurse and attend County College of Morris (CCM) to earn his degree. Following in the footsteps of both his mother and grandmother, who each graduated from CCM with a nursing degree, he explains, “I enjoyed listening to their stories about their work.” With a father who is a microbiologist, he adds, “I’ve been surrounded by science and the medical field all my life.”

Photo of young male with mother and grandmother

(l-r) Peggy Bassininski, Darrin Pulver and Colleen Pulver, three generations who earned their nursing degrees at CCM.

His grandmother, Peggy Bassininski, of Hackettstown, also knew at an early age that she wanted to be a nurse. Several family health crises, however, placed her in the role of a caregiver and she had to hold off on that goal for a while. “I always wanted to be a nurse and it bothered me that I hadn’t become one, and then I saw that CCM had a nursing program.” So in the mid-1970s, she enrolled part-time in the nursing program, graduated in 1982 and then spent 17-and-a-half years working as a nurse on a medical/surgical unit at Hackettstown Hospital and then later as a nursing supervisor. “I was able to fulfill my dream at CCM,” she says.

Darrin’s mother, Colleen Pulver, also knew early on that she wanted to be a nurse. “I looked at my mom and thought I want to do that, too. I want to be a nurse.” She earned her degree in 1994. Since then, she has been working as a nurse at Morristown Medical Center, except for a brief period when she took time to raise her children. Currently, she works on a minimally invasive surgical unit specializing in gastrointestinal surgery.

At the urging of Darrin and her other son Michael, who is now a student at CCM in the School of Liberal Arts, Colleen also plans to work on earning her master’s in nursing. “They tell me I can do it,” she says.

All three agree that the quality of the education they received through the CCM nursing program was outstanding.

“I felt I was very well prepared and confident to take the nursing state board exam and succeed,” says Colleen.

Darrin also notes that as a two-year associate degree program, the nursing professors at CCM are committed to covering as much material as possible and to challenging their students to excel.

“They also are wonderful mentors,” he says. His plan is to obtain a position at Morristown Medical Center and then to earn a bachelor’s, master’s and eventually a doctorate degree in nursing.

“The future of healthcare is going to be very dependent on nurses,” he notes. “I want to be a part of that.”