Stories of Excellence–Mark Loftin
Mark Loftin is passionate about giving back to others. As an Emergency Room (ER) nurse, he gives back to his community. As a Coast Guard Auxiliary serviceman, he gives back to his country. And now, he and his wife Leslie are giving back to Mitchell students, providing a clearer path for those who seek a career in giving back.
Loftin had the unique experience of growing up in both Charlotte, NC and Germany. He spent the school year in Charlotte where he attended Charlotte Catholic School and he spent summer and winter breaks in Germany visiting family. Like his upbringing, Loftin’s journey into nursing has been unique. He earned a bachelor’s degree in biomedical ethics from UNC-Charlotte and began work in the IT field. He excelled in his career and has owned several IT companies over the years. When Loftin’s first wife passed away, though, he decided to transition his career and pursue his dream of working in the medical field.
Loftin came to Statesville in 2017 to attend Mitchell’s Associate Degree Nursing (ADN) program and pursue his dream of becoming an ER nurse. He chose Mitchell because of the Nursing program’s exceptional reputation and high NCLEX pass rate. “Mitchell was a small school with a huge reputation,” Loftin noted. He attended a different school for nursing for a semester before Mitchell and did not feel like it was preparing him adequately. “It was more expensive than Mitchell and the quality wasn’t as good.” Loftin entered Mitchell’s ADN program with medical experience from his military service as a Navy aviation combat medic (1989-1996). He also continues to serve in the Coast Guard Auxiliary in several different capacities.
From the beginning of his Mitchell studies, the nursing faculty made an impression on Loftin. “The whole nursing education staff was extremely helpful in so many ways,” he shared. “They all give it their all and were there for all of us the whole time.” One of his favorite memories was the campus-wide disaster drill. As a second year ADN student, he was assigned the role of incident commander for the hospital during the drill. Loftin said the drill simulated a real-life mass causality situation in a very realistic way, giving students hands-on experience of working in a disaster situation without the risk.
Loftin graduated with his ADN degree in 2019 and, after certification, began work as an ER Nurse at Lake Norman Regional. “I love working in a local ER. It is extremely challenging and demanding, and I wish I would have done this years before,” he said. Loftin feels that he was better prepared for his current job than many other employees fresh out of school. “We have people who have their bachelor’s degree who started at the same time as me,” he noted, “and I feel like, clinical skills wise, I was a lot farther along.”
Loftin stays busy outside of the ER. Along with spending time with his son, Loftin is currently working on his master’s degree and hopes to earn the post of Charlotte Mecklenburg Incident Command Commander with the Coast Guard Auxiliary in the near future. He and his wife Leslie also have big plans for the future. Leslie is currently pursuing her nursing degree at Mitchell. They would both like to eventually pursue travel nursing. They also have a dream of opening up a health and wellness clinic.
Loftin encourages ADN students to study hard and keep going. He also strongly encourages those who have an interest in nursing to pursue a degree at Mitchell. “I have recommended several people I know going to nursing school to Mitchell, a few are already in the program and a few are getting ready to apply,” he said. “I am looking forward to seeing them graduate from Mitchell.”
Recently, Mark and Leslie Loftin have generously decided to give back to Mitchell by establishing a nursing emergency fund called the “Loftin Band-Aid Fund.” During his time at Mitchell, Loftin became aware of the real need for support many Mitchell students face. “These were students giving all they could to make their lives better but still needed help financially and emotionally,” he shared. “Anyone who has gone to Nursing school knows there is a huge emotional part with the high demand on time and energy, but the rewards are great.” The Loftin Band-Aid Fund will fill a gap in support for such students in need. “There were several times when I and other students helped out fellow students who ran into hardships that they could not afford, and unfortunately, there were no scholarships for that kind of thing. It is a pretty important need and Leslie and I discussed it and decided to step in and contribute.” The Loftins hope this fund will allow others to achieve their dreams of giving back to their community and their country, just as the Loftins have done and will continue to do.
To learn more about the Loftin "Band-AId" Fund, please contact the Mitchell Community College Foundation and Endowment for Excellence at firstname.lastname@example.org or (704) 878-4321.